When planning your family trip to Japan you might be wondering about taking your children to a hot spring. Since I don’t have children I asked Japanese parents for help and they recommended me these 8 onsens for families with children in and near Tokyo city.
In Tokyo, the best onsens for families with children are Oedo Onsen Monogatari and Niwa No Yu, but for parents with a toddler or baby, Kom-Pal is considered the most kid-friendly Sento in Tokyo. As a day trip from Tokyo, you can find many family-friendly hot springs in Hakone and Ito Onsen.
The first 4 recommendations below are directly in Tokyo city. The other 4 family-friendly hot springs are near Tokyo, but so close that you can visit the onsen as a day trip. At the end of the post, I also have some general things you should know or keep in mind when visiting an onsen with your children.
1. Oedo-Onsen Monogatari (Odaiba)
Location: Odaiba, Near Ginza & Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
General Information: Oedo-Onsen Monogatari (大江戸温泉物語) is located on Odaiba, a large artificial island overlooking Tokyo Bay. The island is actually one of my favorite places in Tokyo and I bring all of my family and friends there whenever they come to visit me. The futuristic ride over the Rainbow Bridge is already a highlight immediately followed by the giant Gundam Statue and plenty of other places for amusement and entertainment. I’m sure your children will love this place, too!
Onsen Theme Park: This is one of the best onsens in Tokyo for families with children because it is not only a real natural hot spring with open-air baths but also an Onsen Town themed amusement park. So in between or after soaking, your children can show how good they are at being a ninja or try out different traditional Japanese summer festival games. There is also a large Japanese Garden themed foot bath where you and your family can stroll around in Yukata.
The changing area, where you put on your free Yukata, and the onsen’s indoor and outdoor bathing facilities are gender-separated, but you can enjoy the open-air foot bath and the amusement area altogether as a family. If you or your children get hungry you will also find plenty of eateries offering traditional Japanese food from Ramen to Sushi as well as old-fashioned Japanese candy and treats.
Last time I went there with one of my friends, I saw many Japanese families with children and also a few toddlers. The only downside might be that Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is a bit more expensive than a normal onsen. But it also offers more entertainment than other onsen baths.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥2,720 ($25 or 23€)
- Children ages 4 – 12: ¥1,058 ($10 or 9€)
- No fee for children under the age of 4
Access: The nearest Station is Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Line. This is the same line that brings you to the island via the Rainbow Bridge. From the station, it is a 6-minute walk to the Onsen. You can get to the onsen in about 30 minutes from Ginza and the Fish Market. Shibuya is about 40 minutes away and Shinjuku is about 50 minutes away. Unfortunately, the JR Pass is not valid on the trains towards Odaiba (Yurikamome Line and Rinkai Line).
2. Kom-Pal (Near Shibuya)
Location: Osaki, Between Shibuya & Shinagawa, Tokyo
General Information: Kom-Pal or Konparu-Yu (金春湯) is a family-friendly and authentic public bathhouse near Meguro River and right in the center of Tokyo. I’m pretty sure you have seen pictures of Meguro before since the river has become one of Tokyo’s most famous Hanami spots. Meguro is a more residential part of Tokyo and less popular for sightseeing, but Rinshi-No-Mori is a nice park to visit with children. You could also go to the unique Parasitological Museum. Shibuya, Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and other more famous sights are about half an hour away.
Family-Friendly Sento: This is actually not an onsen, but a public bathhouse called “Sento” in Japanese. Before you dismiss this option let me explain! Usually, I refrain from recommending public bathhouses in my onsen posts, but Tokyo is not an onsen town and the options are extremely limited. While a Sento is definitely not the same as an onsen, it still provides a similar and very authentic Japanese bathing experience. Out of all the family-friendly onsen and bathing facilities that I found directly in Tokyo, Kom-Pal is the most traditional one, in my opinion.
The gender-separated Sento has a history of nearly 100 years. It has 3 cozy indoor baths. One bath with a temperature of 42°C, one with a temperature of 40°C, and a cold one. Its bathing facilities are really, really basic but it is considered one of the most kid and family-friendly Sento in Tokyo. They have all kinds of toys children can play with while taking a bath and they also offer kids’ shampoo and a bath mat for babies for free. If you have very young children or a toddler, this is definitely the best place to go. The owner also has 2 really cute kids.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥470 ($4 or 4€)
- Kids ages 13 – 15: ¥300 ($3 or 3€)
- Kids ages 7 – 12: ¥180 ($1.70 or 1.50€)
- Children younger: ¥80 ($0.80 or 0.80€)
Access: 12 minutes on foot from JR Osaki Station on the Yamanote Line
Website: www.kom-pal.com (Japanese only)
3. Toshimaen Niwa No Yu Onsen (Near Ikebukuro)
Location: Toshimaen, Near Ikebukuro & Shinjuku, Tokyo
General Information: Toshimaen Niwa No Yu (豊島園 庭の湯) sometimes also written as Niwa-no-yu is a natural onsen spa and bathing facility in Tokyo. You can get there in about 18 minutes from Ikebukuro Station and in about 24 minutes from Shinjuku Station. Both places are among the top 10 most visited spots in Tokyo. Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, for example, is a 240-meter tall skyscraper perfect for shopping and entertainment and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku has a free observatory from where you can see Mt. Fuji. Just around the corner from the spa is also Toshimaen, a water park with rides, slides, and pools perfect for kids.
Family Onsen & Swimming Pool: Niwa No Yu Onsen is an excellent hot spring spa for families with older children. It features 2 zones, a very beautiful gender-separated onsen, and a swimming pool area where you can bathe together with your whole family wearing swimwear. The onsen facilities are the most beautiful you will find in Tokyo at the moment. Very traditional and natural with a huge variety of open-air and indoor baths. In the huge swimming pool area, you can enjoy heated pools, outdoor pools, and a jacuzzi. They also have a nice Japanese garden with colorful Koi carps.
This is my No. 1 recommendation for onsen in Tokyo, but unfortunately, you can only come here with your children if they are junior high school students. That means they have to be at least 12 years old. This is the only reason why I didn’t put it on top of this list. Still, if your children are old enough forget about the other options and come to this place. Niwa No Yu is perfect for families because in contrast to the other onsen you can bathe together. Not in the onsen, but in the swimming pool area at least. Also, if your children are too shy or too old to run around in their birthday suit you could still try out an onsen by yourself while your partner takes care of the children in the pool area.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥2,370 ($22 or 20€)
- Only junior high school kids or older are allowed
Access: Toshimaen Station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line is the nearest station. From the station, it is just a short 3-minute walk to the onsen facilities. Definitely a plus, but unfortunately you can’t use your Japan Rail Pass because the line belongs to the Seibu Railway.
Website: www.niwanoyu.jp (English Translation available)
4. Spadium Japon (1 hour from Shinjuku)
Location: Higashikurume, 1 hour from Ikebukuro & Shinjuku, Tokyo
General Information: Spadium Japon (スパジアム ジャポン) is a spa and wellness center located in the outskirts of Tokyo in Higashikurume. Honestly, I don’t know this area of Tokyo very well and after checking the surroundings I could only find Seibuen Amusement Park, a kid-friendly theme park, and the Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park, but both are about 1 hour away from the spa. That is about the same time it takes to Tokyo’s more famous sightseeing districts Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Shibuya.
Family Onsen Spa: This modern onsen spa has 3 floors and features 15 kinds of baths including a rotenburo (open-air bath), seasonal aroma baths, a silk bath, and many more. The open-air bath looks like a traditional Japanese onsen but the rest of the bathing facilities feel more like a typical spa. However, the onsen water comes from a real hot spring. According to their webpage, it is a transparent hot spring which is pretty rare in Tokyo. While the bathing facilities are gender-separated you can dine and relax together on the other floors after your bath. Sometimes they also have special kids or baby day.
If you have older kids and/or if you are looking for a more relaxing spa this might be a good alternative. However, two very important things. The spa has 2 electric baths. I know that they are supposed to be good for you but I have never dared to try them and so I don’t know how they are. But I am pretty sure it can be a bit of an unpleasant surprise, especially for children. So watch out for 電気風呂 (Denki Buro) and the “Sixpack Electric Jet Bath”. Also, since this place is popular among locals it can get pretty packed on the weekend.
This is also a tattoo-friendly onsen by the way. As long as you only have one tattoo and it can be covered you are allowed to enter. You have to tell the front and purchase one of their tattoo-cover seals, though.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥850 ($8 or 7€)
- Children ages 7 – 12: ¥350 ($3 or 3€)
- Children ages 3 – 6: ¥100 ($1 or 1€)
- No fee for children under the age of 3
Access: The nearest station is Higashi-Kurume Station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line from where you can use the spa’s free shuttle bus (10-minute ride). Unfortunately, the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. From Ikebukuro, it takes about 45 minutes to get to the spa, from Shinjuku it takes about 1 hour.
Website: www.spajapan.com (Japanese only)
5. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (2h from Tokyo)
Location: Hakone, about 2 hours from Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture
General Information: Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (箱根 小涌園 ユネッサン) is an onsen theme park located in the famous hot spring and nature resort Hakone. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and one of the best and most popular day trips from Tokyo. I am going to write a whole article about this amazing hot spring destination, so stay tuned. From Tokyo, you can get to the onsen in about 1.5 hours if you take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen.
Onsen Theme Park: This onsen theme park consists of 2 areas. Mori no Yu is the name of the beautiful gender-separated onsen facility with open-air baths, a cypress bath, and pot baths. Yunessun, on the other hand, is the unisex swimming pool area with a lot of crazy pools. Outdoors you have water slides, cave baths, and a dragon waterfall. Indoors you have a wine bath, a coffee bath, a green tea bath, a Japanese sake bath, and more. It is not really a traditional onsen, but I am sure that the outdoor area and the crazy indoor baths will be a lot of fun for your children. In the Yunessun area, you are required to wear swimwear.
Private Onsen: From 11:00 – 20:00 o’clock you can rent a private onsen for your family. The costs are ¥3,000 ($28 or 25€) per hour.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥3,500 ($32 or 29€)
- Children ages 7 – 12: ¥1,800 ($17 or 15€)
- No fee for children under the age of 3
Access: Take the Shinkansen to Odawara Station, transfer to the Hakone Tozan Line, and get off at Kowakidani Station. From there it takes about 19 minutes to the onsen.
6. Enoshima Island Spa (1.5h from Tokyo)
Location: Enoshima, Near Kamakura, 1.5 hours from Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture
General Information: Enoshima Island Spa (江の島アイランドスパ) or short EnoSpa is a fun onsen spa located on the same-named island near Kamakura. Enoshima is famous for its beaches and Kamakura is especially famous for its temples and a large Buddha Statue that you can go inside. When you are in Tokyo you should definitely make a day trip to Kamakura.
Family Onsen Spa: EnoSpa is a natural and modern onsen spa that spans over 2 floors. The first floor is a basic gender-separated onsen facility with a few different tubs. The other floor is a unisex swimming pool area where you have to wear swimsuits. Something that is especially cool for children is the cave area with waterfalls. In the evening this also turns into a romantic place for couples where you can enjoy the views of Mt. Fuji. In total the onsen has 10 different indoor and outdoor pools.
Now the bad. On Sunday the onsen spa is closed for children. Also, your children have to be at least 6 years old, otherwise, they are not allowed in.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥3,175 ($29 or 26€)
- Children ages 6 – 12: ¥1,540 ($14 or 12€)
- Only elementary school kids or older are allowed
Access: 12 minutes walk from Katase-Enoshima Station on the Enoshima Line. This line is operated by Odakyu and not covered by the JR Pass.
7. Yusakasou Onsen Ryokan (1.5h from Tokyo)
Location: Hakone, 1.5 hours from Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture
General Information: Yusakasou (湯さか荘) is an Onsen Ryokan located in Hakone. As I mentioned earlier you can get here from Tokyo in about 1.5 hours if you take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen.
Baby-Friendly Onsen Ryokan: This onsen ryokan has 4 types of baths: a mixed outdoor bath, an indoor male-only bath, an indoor female-only bath, and a private onsen. Since the outdoor bath is mixed your whole family can bathe together. Women can wear a special bath towel and from 8 – 9 o’clock it is a women-only bath.
They have a plan for day visitors where you can use one of their Japanese-style rooms from 14:30 – 20:00 o’clock. During the time you can soak in the mixed outdoor bath, you can also use the private onsen for 30 minutes for free, and they will serve you a Japanese Kaiseki dinner in your room.
In case you want to stay overnight, they also have a special baby plan. If your child is younger than 2 it can stay for free and your room will be equipped with diapers and a bottle warmer. Since the water for the onsen comes from an alkaline spring it is very gentle on babies’ skin.
Private Onsen: A semi-open-air cypress bath that can be reserved for 30 minutes upon arrival without any additional costs. The private onsen is also equipped with a diaper changing station and soap for babies.
- ¥11,000 ($102 or 91€) for adults and children (12+)
- ¥7,700 ($71 or 65€) for children (7 – 12)
- ¥2,200 ($20 or 18€) for younger children
Access: Take the Shinkansen to Odawara Station, and transfer to the local Hakone Tozan Railway. Get off at Hakone-Yumoto Station from where it is an 18-minute walk to the onsen ryokan. The Shinkansen ride to Odawara is covered by the JR Pass, but not the rest of the trip.
Website: www.yusaka.jp (Japanese only)
8. Hotel Epinard Nasu (2.5h from Tokyo)
Location: Nasu-Shiobara Onsen, 2.5 hours from Tokyo, Tochigi Prefecture
General Information: Hotel Epinard Nasu (ホテルエピナール那須) is a family-friendly onsen hotel located in Nasu. You can get there in about 2 hours from Tokyo. The hotel is part of Nasu-Shiobara Onsen, a tranquil hot spring resort part of the Nikko National Park and surrounded by nature. It is less than 100 kilometers away from Nikko, another day trip you definitely can’t miss when you are in Tokyo, but by train, it would still take about 2 – 3 hours.
Family Onsen Hotel: The hotel’s bathing facilities consist of an onsen area with a variety of indoor pools and a beautiful open-air bath, as well as a large swimming pool with a kid’s area. In the onsen, they are equipped with baby beds, bathing chairs, and soap for babies. They also have free swim helpers for children. If you are staying overnight you can use the bathing facilities for free, but the hotel also opens its doors to day-trippers. As with the other facilities in my list, the onsen is gender-separated, but the pool is unisex, of course. So don’t forget to bring your swimsuit for the pool.
- Adults & children over the age of 12: ¥1,109 ($10 or 10€)
- Children ages 7 – 12: ¥809 ($8 or 7€)
- Children under the age of 7: ¥500 ($5 or 4€)
Access: The nearest JR station is Nasushiobara Station from where it is a 30-minute bus ride and a 20-minute walk to the hotel. They also have a free shuttle bus that only takes 30 minutes from the station, but you need to tell them in advance.
Website: www.epinard.jp (Japanese only)
Bonus: Family-Friendly Onsen Ryokan Near Tokyo
Two other recommendations for family-friendly onsen ryokans I got are Yutaka (ゆたか) in Kusatsu Onsen and Hotel Epinard Nasu (ホテル エピナール 那須) in Nasu Onsen.
Inatori Akao Hotel Kaifuro (赤尾ホテル 海諷廊) is a modern and nice onsen hotel located on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka. The peninsula can be reached in about 2 – 3 hours from Tokyo and is famous for its onsen towns Atami, Ito, and Shimoda. Besides a beautiful onsen bath with rotenburo, the hotel also has 6 private hot spring baths. They are equipped with a baby bed and baby chairs and therefore perfect if you are traveling with a young toddler.
Another option I would like to recommend for younger children, not a natural onsen, though, is Hoshino Resort Risonare Yatsugatake (星野リゾート リゾナーレ八ヶ岳). It is about 3 hours away in Yamanashi Prefecture. One of my friends went there with her family (2 children) just a week ago and she loved it because her children had so much fun playing in the water area for kids. She showed me pictures of it and it looks so cool but also really safe.
Know Before You Go to an Onsen With Children
- Babies and toddlers that are still wearing diapers or haven’t been potty trained yet are usually not allowed to enter onsen baths. So, in that case, I would rather suggest you rent a private onsen or stay at an onsen ryokan with a family onsen bath
- Children up until the age of 7 can accompany their parent of the opposite sex
- If your child is older than 12, you usually have to pay the full adult ticket price
- Onsens can be extremely hot and are often way too hot for young children. So warn them before they enter the tub and try to find the ones that have a lower temperature. Also, try to stay away from the tap or the place where the hot spring water flows into the tub
- Don’t forget to tell your children that they can’t wear a swimsuit or swim trunks and that everybody will be in their birthday suit before entering the onsen
- Children with sensitive skin should better take a shower or rinse after the onsen. I explain everything about it in my post about the beauty benefits of onsen for your skin. You will also find more recommended onsen towns that you can visit if you or your children have sensitive skin