5 Beautiful Onsen and Hot Spring Resorts to Stay at in Nikko

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5 Beautiful Onsen and Hot Spring Resorts to Stay at in Nikko

Just a couple of hours drive or by train from Tokyo, Nikko makes for the perfect side trip to Japan's capital. Apart from the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Shrines and Temples of Nikko, the region is famous for its beautiful mountain and nature scenery, with dramatic valleys, towering waterfalls and impressive lakes and rivers to check out. To accompany exploring its nature and the amazing hikes here, there are plenty of onsen, Japanese hot springs, to soak away any tiredness of traveling. Here are some of the best hot spring resorts to stay at in Nikko.

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5 Beautiful Onsen and Hot Spring Resorts to Stay at in Nikko

Yumoto Itaya (Yumoto Onsen)

Deep in Nikko National Park at the quaint lakeside hot spring town of Yumoto, Itaya offers a relaxed stay in a traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan. The hotel is within reach of attractions in the national park while being in a quiet location away from the main crowds and traffic and doesn't even get too busy during peak season.

Kaniyu (Okukinu Onsen)

If you're looking to get as far away from civilization for a couple of days, there's nowhere better than Okukinu Onsen. Tucked away in the mountains, this hot spring town isn't even accessible by public bus or car, if you're staying at one of the hotels they'll give you a lift from the nearest entry point, otherwise it's a two hour hike. Well worth the complicated journey however, Okukinu's idyllic mountain valley setting is complimented by the amazing hot springs here, many of which are outside in the thick of nature. It also snows often in the mountains here during winter, adding to the picturesque vistas while you're bathing all your troubles away.

There's a few onsen resorts here but Kaniyu is easily one of the best. The service is flawless, rooms are lovely and the outside bath or rotenburo is particularly stunning.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Lake Chuzenji)

Sitting next to two of Nikko's most famous scenic views, Lake Chuzenji and Mt. Nantaisa, this luxury resort offers beautiful lake views from both its rooms and onsen baths. Hoshino Resorts are well known for offering a number of beautiful ryokan (traditional inns) around the country that promise a perfect experience in all aspects, from high quality meals to beautifully decorated rooms. Their hotel in Nikko is no exception, easily one of the top places you can stay at in the area.

Kanaya Hotel (Kinugawa Onsen)

The largest and most popular hot spring town in the area, Kinugawa Onsen offers plenty to do and see to accompany your hot spring bathing.

There are plenty of places to stay at in and around Kinugawa Onsen, however some are quite old and in dire need of renovation. Kanaya is a great choice, a lovely hotel with beautiful rooms, including some with private hot tubs on the balcony and sweeping views over the mountains.

Yukemurinosato Kashiwaya (Kawaji Onsen)

Slightly further down the river from Kinugawa Onsen, Kawaji is a little less busier and built up yet with the same scenic views and natural atmosphere. Kashiwaya is nestled in a gorge where the Kinu and Ojika rivers meet. The outside baths here are beautiful, overlooking the river in a way that makes it feel like you're bathing in the river itself. The view looks out over the mountains and a bridge where you'll often see trains passing through.


If you're planning to visit Tokyo, or are there already, consider adding a couple of days to visit Nikko to your itinerary. Although the area is famous for the historic and ornamental temples built in the 17th century, the whole region is full of beautiful landscape that's well worth exploring. Add in the serine and relaxing hot spring resorts and you've got the perfect trip.

Generally while staying at a ryokan like these dinner will be included with the room rate. Most onsen towns won't have many restaurants if any at all, so it's best to check if the resort will provide dinner. It's a great experience as the usually serve a kind of kaiseki cuisine, lots of small dishes filled with produce from around the local area.