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What is the most relaxing place in Japan?


Japan is a beautiful country that offers its visitors an abundance of places to visit and things to do. From the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to the peacefulness of Kyoto, Japan is a country that has something for everyone. However, if you’re looking for the most relaxing place in Japan, look no further. In this article, we will explore the most relaxing place in Japan and why it should be on your travel bucket list.

What Is The Most Relaxing Place In Japan?

When it comes to relaxation in Japan, nothing beats the hot springs or “onsen.” The onsen culture has been around for centuries and is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. The natural hot springs are believed to have healing powers and provide a perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life. The most relaxing place in Japan is undoubtedly a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) that offers an onsen experience. There are many ryokans around Japan, but some of the best onsen experiences can be found in Hakone, Ginzan Onsen, and Kinosaki Onsen.

Japanese Snack Box

Why Is An Onsen Experience So Relaxing?

An onsen experience is both relaxing and rejuvenating for the mind, body, and soul. The natural minerals found in the hot springs are believed to have healing properties that help to relieve muscle pain, joint stiffness, and other ailments. Moreover, soaking in warm water can help to lower stress levels and promote better sleep. The serene surroundings of an onsen also provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Hakone: A Relaxing Escape Near Tokyo

Located just 90 minutes from Tokyo by train, Hakone is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation. This town is surrounded by scenic mountains and offers stunning views of Mt. Fuji. Visitors can enjoy a traditional ryokan experience with an onsen while taking in the beauty of nature. Hakone also offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking trails and boating on Lake Ashi.

Ginzan Onsen: A Hidden Gem

Ginzan Onsen is a hidden gem located in Yamagata Prefecture. This town was once a thriving silver mining town but now offers visitors a glimpse into Japan’s past with its preserved historic buildings. The town also boasts some of the best traditional ryokans with an onsen experience. Visitors can soak in the natural hot springs while listening to the sound of the river flowing by.

Kinosaki Onsen: A Hot Spring Town With Charm

Kinosaki Onsen is a charming hot spring town located in Hyogo Prefecture. This town has been attracting visitors for over 1,300 years with its seven public bathhouses and numerous ryokans with private baths. Visitors can stroll along the charming streets dressed in yukata (traditional Japanese clothing), enjoy local cuisine, and soak in the natural hot springs.

Choosing The Right Ryokan

When choosing a ryokan for your onsen experience, it’s important to consider several factors such as location, price, and amenities. Many ryokans offer traditional Japanese meals included in the price of your stay as well as other amenities such as private onsens or massage services.

Etiquette At An Onsen

When visiting an onsen, it’s important to follow proper etiquette to ensure everyone’s comfort and enjoyment. Guests are expected to wash their bodies before entering the onsen and are not allowed to wear any clothing while soaking. Additionally, guests should not enter the onsen if they have open wounds or tattoos as they are traditionally associated with Yakuza (Japanese mafia).

Other Relaxing Activities In Japan

While an onsen experience is undoubtedly the most relaxing activity in Japan, there are other activities that can help you unwind. Visitors can try meditation at Buddhist temples or participate in tea ceremonies that promote mindfulness and tranquility.


Japan offers visitors an abundance of relaxation activities but none quite compare to an onsen experience at a traditional ryokan. Whether you’re seeking a serene escape from city life or looking for relief from muscle pain or joint stiffness, an onsen experience should be at the top of your travel bucket list when visiting Japan.


  • “The Ultimate Guide To Japanese Hot Springs (Onsens).” Japan Travel Guide.
  • “Best Hot Springs In Japan.” Lonely Planet.
  • “10 Best Ryokans In Japan.” TimeOut.
  • “Japan Travel Guide: Ginzan Onsen.” Japan Guide.
  • “Kinosaki Onsen.” Visit Kinosaki.

Where do the Japanese go to relax?

Japanese hot springs, known as onsen, are deeply ingrained in the country’s culture and are popular destinations for locals seeking respite from the bustling pace of city life. These serene environments offer the ultimate relaxation experience.

What is the least touristy part of Japan?

Fukui Prefecture is situated to the North of Kyoto Prefecture and can be reached within an hour by train. Although it is located near popular Kansai prefectures such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, it happens to be the least-visited prefecture in Japan.

Where is the most foreigner friendly place in Japan?

What’s most significant is that Tokyo is more open to foreigners than other cities in Japan. While English speakers are scarce in most areas of the country, there are more in Tokyo. This makes it easier for tourists and expats to navigate and communicate in the city.

Do you shower after onsen?

It is advised to avoid showering after using an onsen, as this can diminish the healing properties of the minerals. Instead, it is suggested to take a quick cold shower or bath after leaving the onsen, which can have its own health benefits.

Do you wear clothes in onsen?

It is not permitted to wear clothes or bathing suits in the onsen bathing areas, as people strive to maintain the cleanliness and sanctity of these spaces. The presence of clothing and bathing suits can introduce dirt and soap from outside, which is considered unclean and unhygienic.

What city in Japan is the friendliest?

The people of Osaka are renowned for being the most sociable and friendly in Japan.

Health Benefits of Onsen

Besides being a relaxing experience, soaking in an onsen has many health benefits. The hot water helps to increase blood circulation and promote the release of endorphins, which can reduce pain and increase feelings of well-being. The minerals found in the hot springs have been known to improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Additionally, the heat can help to boost the immune system by increasing white blood cell production.

Onsen Culture

The onsen culture is deeply ingrained in Japanese society, with many people visiting hot springs regularly for health and relaxation purposes. It’s not uncommon for families or groups of friends to visit onsens together and make a day trip out of it. There are also onsen resorts that offer various amenities such as restaurants, bars, and massage services.

Seasonal Onsens

Some onsens are only open during certain times of the year, depending on the season. In winter, visitors can enjoy outdoor onsens while surrounded by snow, which is a unique and memorable experience. In summer, visitors can enjoy natural scenery such as lush greenery or blooming flowers while soaking in the hot springs.

Onsen Etiquette for Foreign Visitors

For foreign visitors who are not familiar with the onsen culture, it’s important to understand proper etiquette to ensure a comfortable experience for all guests. Some ryokans have signs or information available in English to help foreign visitors understand the customs. It’s also important to respect the rules and guidelines set by each onsen and follow them accordingly.


Overall, an onsen experience at a traditional ryokan is a must-do activity when visiting Japan. Not only is it a relaxing escape from daily life, but it also offers many health benefits. With so many ryokans and onsens around Japan to choose from, visitors are sure to find the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul.

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