Takayama Onsen: Unwind amidst Nature in Japan

Last Updated: April 10,2024

Does Takayama have onsen? Takayama is a historic city that is located in the mountainous region of Gifu Prefecture in Japan. It is famous for its well-preserved old town, traditional architecture, and rich cultural heritage. Although the options on the Takayama Onsen are not as many as other popular onsen destinations in Japan, there are still some high-quality Hida Takayama Onsen that are worthy of visits. Here is our complete guide to the Onsen Takayama Japan.

Table of Contents

1. Takayama Public Onsen

2. Onsen Town Near Takayama

3. Takayama Ryokan Private Onsen

4. Cannot-Missed Attractions for a Takayama Onsen Trip

1. Public Onsen in Takayama

Speaking of public baths, they were used in the Showa era as entertainment for the community and to communicate with neighbors. In modern society, baths have become popular in every household, so there are bathhouses in each area of the city. There used to be many public bathhouses in Japan, but now there are only a few of them left. Where can you experience the public bathhouses in Takayama? Here are 2 Takayama public onsen where you can unwind after sightseeing in Takayama.

Spa House Yutopia/ Utopia Inari-yu: Tattoo-Friendly Bathhouse with Sauna

It is a simple local bath house that welcomes guests with tattoos, without cover-up stickers necessary. There are 3 baths of different temperatures in this Takayama public onsen, including a low warm bath, a medium warm bath, and a hot red mineral bath. And there is also a sauna that alternates days for men and women. Utopia Inari-yu is smaller than some of the big city ones but really cozy and pleasant as you can ease all the stress on your feet from all the walking that you've been doing during the day. The staff in this public onsen in Takayama is very friendly and helpful. There's a nice selection of flavored milk and other drinks to enjoy in the front lobby afterward as well, and do recommend trying "Hida coffee milk". For those who simply love Japanese baths, Utopia Inari-yu may be a good choice as you can enjoy a local onsen experience here. All in all, Utopia Inari-yu is perfect for some relaxation after a day exploring Takayama.

Address: Japan, 〒506-0012 Gifu, Takayama, Hachikenmachi, 2 Chome−4−4

Hours: Closed at 10 PM

Phone: +81 577-32-5875

Takanoyu: A Long-established Public Bath in Takayama That Was Renovated

This is also a tattoo-friendly public onsen Takayama that is located on top of a slope in a tasteful residential area in Takayama. This public bath is loved by locals, so you get to take public baths with the public and experience a little more of the Japanese lifestyle. The baths of this Takayama public onsen are very relaxing, and it was nice to have private access to them in the morning. The temperature of each bath was 38°C, 41°C, and 43°C, and there was a Roryu sauna and a cold bath, which was very comfortable. It has a nice Showa-era atmosphere, but it is not barrier-free. The sauna of this public onsen in Takayama is truly divine as it has an authentic wood stove that looks like a fireplace, where you add firewood yourself. The cold water bath is free-flowing and you can drink the water from the spout of the cold bath. In addition, there is a projector with images on the wall. In short, you will be warmly welcomed at the reception, and Takanoyu is a comfortable place with a homely atmosphere where locals gather.

Address: 107 Soyujimachi, Takayama, Gifu 506-0834, Japan

Hours: Closed at 10 PM

For those who want to experience the authentic Takayama onsen at an affordable price, these two Takayama public onsen are highly recommended, as they are all local bath houses where you can get to know about the Japanese onsen culture. And they are both onsen in Japan that allow tattoos. (>>>Onsen in Japan with tattoos for further reading)

2. Best Onsen Near Takayama

If you are looking for more options to experience more Onsen Takayama Japan, here are the top recommended onsen near Takayama.

Okuhida Onsen Area: 60-90 Minutes North of Takayama by Bus or Train

Okuhida Onsen consists of five Takayama hot spring towns: Hirayu Onsen, Fukuji Onsen, Shin-Hirayu Onsen, Tochio Onsen, and Shinhotaka Onsen. The transportation to Okuhida Onsen Gifu is not particularly convenient, but there are still many tourists visiting it. The entire Okuhida Onsen town is very quiet and special. It’s a great place to visit in winter because the skiing here is excellent. The Takayama Gifu Onsen here are all surrounded by mountains, and filled with mist, which is like a fairyland. Stay at an Okuhida onsen ryokan for at least 2-3 days, you can experience various Takayama hot springs and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the snow-capped mountains up close.

Although Okuhida Onsen Takayama is not as famous as the four major hot spring towns in Japan, it is also ranked among the best Japanese hot springs. The scale of the Okuhida Onsen is quite large, attracting tourists from all walks of life to come and experience the sightseeing experience. The open-air hot springs here are great. It is really pleasant to soak in the soothing hot springs in the natural environment. In short, Okuhida Onsen is a particularly beautiful onsen destination that is very suitable for leisure and vacation.

●5 Hot Spring Towns in Okuhida Onsen

1) Hirayu Onsen: Nestled in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Hirayu Onsen Japan is renowned for its therapeutic hot springs and stunning mountain vistas. Visitors can relax in various baths of Hirayu Onsen Takayama while immersing themselves in the tranquil ambiance of nature. For the transportation from Takayama to Hirayu Onsen, it is a 60-minute bus ride. Hirayu no Mori is nestled within a serene forest in the Hirayu area. It offers a tranquil atmosphere where visitors can unwind amidst nature while soaking in the healing waters of Hirayu no Mori Onsen.

2) Fukuji Onsen: Fukuji Onsen Okuhida is celebrated for its therapeutic waters, which are believed to alleviate various ailments. It's a perfect destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in a traditional Japanese setting.

3) Shin-Hirayu Onsen: Offering panoramic views of the Northern Alps, Shin Hirayu Onsen is a paradise for nature lovers and hot spring enthusiasts alike. Visitors can soak in the restorative waters while enjoying stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks and verdant forests.

4) Tochio Onsen: Located in Niigata Prefecture, Tochio Onsen is a charming hot spring town known for its traditional atmosphere and relaxing waters. This Takayama hot springs area features a variety of baths, including open-air baths and private onsens, allowing visitors to unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

5) Shinhotaka Onsen: Perched high in the Japanese Alps, Shinhotaka Onsen offers a serene retreat amidst towering mountains and pristine wilderness. Travelers can unwind in the invigorating hot springs and explore nearby hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for both relaxation and adventure. Shinhotaka-no-yu is a popular hot spring facility in the Shinhotaka Onsen area, which is located near the base of the Shinhotaka Ropeway and offers a range of indoor and outdoor baths with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It takes 70 Minutes by Nohi bus from Takayama to Shinhotaka Onsen. Shinhotaka-no-yu provides a convenient stop for travelers exploring the Hotaka Mountain Range. With its modern facilities and panoramic views, this Shinhotaka outdoor public onsen offers a perfect blend of comfort and natural beauty for visitors to enjoy.

Which one do you think is the best onsen Takayama in the Okuhida Onsen area?

●Takayama to Okuhida Onsen

To travel to Okuhida Onsen from Takayama, you have a few transportation options.

-Bus: There are direct buses operated by Nohi Bus that run between Takayama and Okuhida Onsen. The journey takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the specific onsen village you're headed to. Be sure to check the bus schedule in advance as they may have limited departures.

-Taxi/Car Rental: If you prefer more flexibility in your schedule, you can also consider renting a car or taking a taxi from Takayama to Okuhida Onsen. The drive typically takes around 1 hour, depending on traffic and road conditions.

-Shinhotaka Ropeway: If you're specifically interested in visiting the Shinhotaka Ropeway area in Okuhida, you can take a direct bus from Takayama to Shinhotaka Ropeway Station. The journey takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Be sure to check the latest transportation schedules and availability, as they may vary depending on the season and any potential changes in transportation services.

Gero Onsen: about 60 Minutes South of Takayama by Limited Express Train

Gero Onsen is known as Japan's three major hot spring towns together with Arima Onsen and Kusatsu Onsen. During the "Shoryū Road Trip", Gero Onsen is used as a rest stop to relax. Not only can you relieve travel fatigue, but you can also enjoy the unexpected beautiful scenery in Gero Onsen Japan. Gero Onsen as the onsen town near Takayama, and even the best Onsen village in Japan, has a history of more than a thousand years, and the Japanese Emperor and Empress have visited it twice, but it still maintains its simple folk customs. Onsen Street here is filled with many kinds of hot spring baths and onsen hotels, which are full of the fun of a hot spring town in Japan. Among them, Bijin-no-yu 美人の湯 is the most famous for its nourishing and beautifying effects.

If you have limited time and only plan to take a one-day onsen trip, Gero has many facilities that provide "day-use hot springs", and there are also foot baths in the town where you can soak your feet for free. Of course, if you can stay in Gero Onsen for one night, a hot spring hotel with two meals and a stay is the best choice. It is recommended to slow down and experience the charm of Japanese natural hot springs and delicious food in a slow time at Gero Onsen Gassho Village.

The hot spring street is full of fun. Although the area is small, there are many places to visit, including the Onsenji, and the Onsen Museum. You can see frogs and egrets everywhere, and you can see foot baths everywhere.

●Foot Baths Available Everywhere at Gero Onsen

There are many paid and free footbaths on Gero Onsen Street. For example, 白鷺乃湯 is a paid public bath. The Roman-style European architecture is refreshing. There is a hot spring at the entrance. You can enjoy the hot spring while admiring the statue of Venus. There is also a bathtub and rest area indoors.

For the free foot bath, highly recommend the oldest foot bath on Hot Spring Street: 鷙の足湯. It is located relatively close to the onsen street, and it is free. For those who do not have enough time to go to the hot springs and want to find a place to take a rest, this place is definitely more suitable than a cafe.

Takayama to Gero Onsen

To travel from Takayama to Gero Onsen, you have several options:

-Train: The most convenient way to get from Takayama to Gero Onsen by train is to take the JR Takayama Line. You would first take a train from Takayama Station to Gero Station. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. From Gero Station, it's a short walk or taxi ride to the Gero Onsen area.

-Bus: There are also direct bus services operated by Nohi Bus that run between Takayama and Gero Onsen. The journey by bus takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Be sure to check the bus schedule in advance as they may have limited departures.

-Taxi/Car Rental: If you prefer more flexibility in your schedule, you can also consider renting a car or taking a taxi from Takayama to Gero Onsen. The drive typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Both train and bus services provide scenic views along the journey, so you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Japanese countryside as you travel to Gero Onsen.

3. Takayama Onsen Ryokan

Staying overnight at a Takayama onsen ryokan for 1-2 nights is better for you to explore the highlights of Takayama without being in a hurry. But which is the best Takayama onsen hotel? Here are our top 5 options to enjoy the Takayama Ryokan private onsen.

Oyado Koto No Yume

Oyado Koto No Yume Takayama Japan offers colorful Japanese-style rooms, hot spring baths, and Japanese breakfast, and is recommended by the Michelin Green Guide Japan. The hotel rooms in this Takayama onsen ryokan are equipped with tatami floors and traditional futon bedding, a 40-inch flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and green tea bags. The private bathroom has a shower, bathtub, and toiletries. And you can use the public bath or make reservations for a private bath at a small fee, which is not very expensive at all. The staff also leaves you instructions on how to use the bath which some guests are nervous about.

Oyado Koto No Yume Takayama is a 2-minute walk from Takayama Station. Attractions near this Takayama onsen hotel include Kokubunji Temple, Miyagawa Morning Market, and Old Private Houses, all within a 10-minute walk. You can also go to Shirakawago, which is a 50-minute drive away.

Address of Oyado Koto No Yume Hotel Takayama: 6 Chome-11 Hanasatomachi, Takayama, Gifu 506-0026, Japan

Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan Annex

Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan Annex is located next to the Miyagawa River in Takayama City. Takayama Jinya, Takayama Old Street, and Miyagawa Morning Market are nearby. You can book a pick-up and drop-off service, and there is a shuttle bus! Even walking from Takayama Station to this Hida Takayama onsen hotel only takes ten minutes. The hotel is a 7-story landmark building. It is not far from the ancient street and is very suitable for shopping. All rooms in Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan Annex have river views, and those staying in high-floor rooms can overlook Takayama City and the Miyagawa River. The large public bath is located on the 7/F. The feature of "Staying one night with breakfast and dinner" is very special. Dinner includes the famous Alpine Hida beef.

As for the onsen of Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan Annex, gentlemen have a large indoor pool and an open-air pool plus a sauna, while ladies have an indoor pool and a beautiful traditional-style pool next door, both equipped with a hot water tub (also external), a sauna and other body care products. The outdoor bath is on the 7th floor so you get some good views. It is a good choice to enjoy Ryokan Takayama Onsen.

Address: Japan, 〒506-0011 Gifu, Takayama, Honmachi, 1 Chome−5 34番地

Takayama Ouan

Takayama Ouan, one of the best onsen ryokan in Takayama, features a traditional Japanese design with tatami (woven-straw) floors throughout. The Takayama Ouan Hotel has a rooftop open-air natural hot spring bath and a comfortable family bath. Guests at Hida Hanasatonoyu Takayama Ouan can relax in the large public bath or use one of the mountain-view family baths (subject to availability). The public bath of the Takayama Ouan Onsen also has a sauna. The on-site beauty salon offers soothing massage services. Rooms in the Takayama Ouan Hotel Takayama Japan have free wired internet, and free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. The hotel's restaurant serves regional specialties, including dishes made with local beef. The daily breakfast buffet includes over 60 local Japanese and Western dishes. JR Takayama Station is a 3-minute walk away from Takayama Ouan Ryokan.

Address: 4 Chome-313 Hanasatomachi, Takayama, Gifu 506-0026, Japan

Takayama Green Hotel

Hida Takayama Onsen Takayama Green Hotel is near the Takayama Railway Station. The hotel provides a shuttle bus service between the hotel and the railway station. It is only a 10-minute walk, which is very convenient. Takayama Green Hotel Takayama Japan has a large hot spring bath, and there is also a Hida shopping mall nearby, so it is also convenient to buy souvenirs. This is a large Takayama Onsen hotel, with Japanese and Western restaurants, and the staff service is very good. The hot spring bath in the Takayama Green Hotel Japan is very clean and is divided into indoor and outdoor baths. The indoor bath is larger than other hotels, and you can enjoy the garden scenery. In winter, there will be beautiful snow scenery to view while soaking in the Takayama Green Hotel Onsen, which is cold and romantic! The hotel's layout blends in with nature, making Hida Takayama Green Hotel an ideal place for nature lovers. The hot spring public baths are really an added bonus, imagine spending a relaxing evening soaking in the Green Hotel Onsen Takayama in an outdoor setting, sipping hot sake, and overlooking the turquoise lake and mountains, it is really a comfortable stay at Takayama Green Hotel Takayama.

Address of Hotel Takayama Green: Japan, 〒506-0031 Gifu, Takayama, Nishinoisshikimachi, 2 Chome, No. 180

Hida Hotel Plaza

Hida Takayama Onsen Hida Hotel Plaza is a prominent accommodation establishment situated in the heart of Takayama, a historic city nestled in the Japanese Alps. Boasting a strategic location close to Takayama's main attractions and transport hubs, Hotel Hida Plaza Takayama Japan offers both leisure and business travelers a comfortable and convenient stay. The hotel may also feature leisure facilities such as a fitness center, spa, or hot spring baths and it is a good place to enjoy the Takayama hotel onsen. Don't forget to try the rooftop onsen in Hida Hotel Plaza Takayama. The one on the rooftop is quite good, from where you can overlook the city and they even have jacquzzi, providing guests with opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation after a day of exploring Takayama's charming streets and attractions.

Address of Hida Hotel Plaza Takayama Japan: 2 Chome-60 Hanaokamachi, Takayama, Gifu 506-0009, Japan

Of these 5 hotels reviewed here, each one is highly recommended to you to enjoy Ryokan Takayama private onsen. Besides, Hotel Associa Takayama Resort and Hida Takayama Onsen Hoshokaku are also great Takayama hotels with private onsen. Which one do you think is the best onsen ryokan in Takayama?

4. Must-Visit Attractions During Takayama Onsen Trip

Takayama, located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, Japan, is known for its well-preserved Edo-period streetscape, traditional buildings, and stunning natural surroundings. Here are some must-visit attractions during your Takayama onsen tour:

Old Town (Sanmachi Suji): This historic district features beautifully preserved streets lined with traditional wooden merchant houses, sake breweries, shops, and cafes. Walking through Sanmachi Suji feels like stepping back in time to the Edo period.

Takayama Jinya: This former government house served as the local administrative center during the Edo period. Visitors can explore the various rooms and learn about the history and governance of Takayama.

Takayama Morning Market: Held daily along the Miyagawa River, this lively market offers a wide variety of local produce, crafts, and snacks. It's a great place to experience the local culture and taste some delicious street food.

Hida Folk Village (Hida no Sato): Situated just outside Takayama, this open-air museum features over 30 traditional thatched-roof houses from the Hida region. Visitors can explore the interior of these historic buildings and learn about traditional rural life in Japan.

Shirakawa-go: While technically not in Takayama, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is easily accessible by bus from the city. Shirakawa-go is famous for its picturesque Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are over 250 years old. The village looks especially stunning in winter when covered in snow.

These are just a few of the highlights in Takayama, but the city offers much more to explore, including delicious local cuisine, and scenic hiking trails in the nearby mountains. Contact us to craft your private Takayama itinerary now!


Staying at a Takayama Ryokan with private onsen, and enjoying the best onsen in Takayama after exploring the iconic attractions during the day, your Takayama Onsen tour will be enjoyable and memorable.

◆Related Guides to Other Hot Springs in Japan for More Onsen Experience:

>>> Hot Springs in Osaka Japan

>>>Kyoto Japan Hot Springs

>>> Mount Fuji Hot Springs

>>> Hakone Japan Hot Springs

>>> Hot Springs Japan Tokyo

>>> Kurokawa Hot Springs

>>> Takaragawa Onsen Hot Springs

>>> Beppu Japan Hot Springs

>>> Shibu Hot Spring

>>> Hokkaido Japan Hot Springs

>>> Nozawa Japan Hot Springs

>>> Noboribetsu Hot Spring

>>> Spa World Osaka Japan

>>>Osaka Solaniwa Onsen

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