Today’s post is for all the couples that are looking for a romantic onsen in Japan to spend some quality private time together during their trip. Visiting a Japanese hot spring isn’t only an amazing travel experience but also the perfect start for an exciting date and a romantic evening.
Spa Resort Ryokan Hakone Ginyu is one of the most romantic onsen ryokans in Japan, but also a bit pricey. A more affordable option for couples near Tokyo is Ryokan Tokinoniwa in Kusatsu Onsen. Hotel Tenzankaku Kaiyutei and Livemax Resort Kyotango Sea Front are nice onsen hotels near Kyoto and Osaka.
Below you will find detailed information about 8 recommended romantic onsens for couples in Japan. I have tried to find a good mix of ryokans and hot spring hotels that feature rooms with private onsen for an affordable price and that aren’t too far from Japan’s major cities and sightseeing spots.
1. Ryokan Tokinoniwa (3.5h From Tokyo)
Location: Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma Prefecture
General Information: Ryokan Tokinoniwa (湯宿 季の庭) is a refined 4-star hot spring hotel located in Gunma Prefecture’s famous hot spring resort Kusatsu Onsen. Kusatsu is renowned for the quality and abundance of its spring water and has been one of Japan’s top onsen towns for centuries. Here you can also stroll around in Yukata and see how Kusatsu’s water is cooled down during the Yumomi Performance.
Romantic Onsen Day Trip: The ryokan has a plan for day trippers where you can use one of their rooms with a smaller private open-air onsen bath from 12:00 – 15:00 o’clock. During your short stay, you can also enjoy one of their beautiful public baths Tokinoyu or Konoyu, but Tokinoyu is only available from 13:30. They also have 3 beautiful and bigger Kashikiri (rentable private onsen) that you can use without any additional fees. Since they don’t provide any meals better buy something before your arrival.
Romantic Onsen Ryokan Stay: I highly recommend you extend your day trip and stay overnight if you have time. They are alternating the 2 public baths on a daily basis, so if you stay for one night you can try out all of the 23 onsen baths. Plus, you can try 2 or even all of their private outdoor baths. The ryokan has Japanese-style rooms and western-style rooms, but every room comes with a private open-air bath.
Access: You can get to the Onsen Ryokan in 3.5 hours from Tokyo if you take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Karuizawa and then a bus to Kusatsu. Depending on the connection it might also take 4 – 4.5 hours.
Price: Day trip plan from 8,000円 (about $74 or 66€) for 2 people. When I checked their website I found rooms with private onsen for 14,000円 (about $129 or 116€) per night for 2 people.
Website: www.hotespa.net/hotels/tokinoniwa (Japanese only)
2. Tokinoyu Setsugetsuka (Hakone)
Location: Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture
General Information: Tokinoyu Setsugetsuka (季の湯 雪月花) is an onsen ryokan located in the famous hot spring resort Hakone. Due to its close proximity to Tokyo, it is a very popular tourist destination and makes for a nice day trip from Japan’s capital. Many onsen ryokans open their doors to day trippers and there are several public bathhouses, so it is a good place for onsen hopping. With views of Mt. Fuji, a stroll around nearby Lake Ashinoko or a sightseeing cruise across it would be the perfect start for a romantic date.
Romantic Onsen Ryokan Stay: This onsen ryokan has a large public bath with a variety of indoor and outdoor baths. At night they turn on little bonfire lanterns which adds to the romantic feeling. They also have 3 private outdoor baths that can be rented for no additional costs. You don’t need to reserve them beforehand but they kindly ask their visitors to use them for no longer than 40 minutes. If you want to soak for longer you can do this in the small wooden onsen on the balcony of your either Western-style or Japanese-style room.
Romantic Onsen Day Trip: When I checked the prices for this ryokan the overnight stay was actually cheaper than the day trip. However, in case that was a special offer, you could also try their day trip plan. From 14:00 – 21:00 o’clock, you can soak in the public bath before spending a romantic evening in your room with a private onsen and a Japanese-style dinner.
Access: With a JR Pass you can ride the Shinkansen until Odawara Station for free. From there you have to transfer to a bus or the Hakone Tozan Railway which isn’t covered. The nearest station to the onsen is Gora Station on the Hakone Tozan Line. It is just a 3-minute walk away. From Tokyo, the whole trip will take about 2 – 2.5 hours.
Price: When I checked their homepage they offered overnight stays at a Japanese-style room with a private onsen without meals for 14,000円 (about $128 or 114€) per night. This is the total price for 2 people, but since their 7-hour stay plan for couples already costs 24,000円 (about $220 or 197€) I am afraid their regular rates might be more expensive.
Website: www.hotespa.net/hotels/setsugetsuka (Japanese only)
3. Shin Kaikatei Izumi (2.5h From Tokyo)
Location: Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
General Information: Shin Kaikatei Izumi (新海花亭いずみ) is an onsen ryokan located on the west side of Shizuoka’s Izu Peninsula. The peninsula is famous for its jagged coast on the east and the hot spring resorts Ito and Atami Onsen. In the south, you will find Shimoda, another famous white sand beach in Japan with beautiful beach onsen, and in the west, you have Dogashima, an island with dramatic volcanic rock formations and caves.
Romantic Ryokan Stay: This beautiful onsen ryokan offers modern and traditional-style rooms with views of Suruga Bay. Experience everything from rooms with Tatami, wearing Yukata, sleeping on a Futon, and soaking in your private onsen bath. You can choose between 8 different room types, and except for the cheapest one, they are all equipped with an open-air onsen on the balcony. This onsen is also specialized in serving traditional Japanese course meals called Kaiseki and their chef got several Michelin Stars. Of course, you will also find public onsen facilities with an open-air bath.
Access: You can take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen to Mishima Station but have to continue the journey by bus. It is a 1.5-hour bus ride to the onsen. Get off at the Toriko bus stop you will be right in front of the onsen ryokan.
Price: From 20,000円 (about $183 or 163€) for 2 people per night for the cheaper rooms with rotenburo. However, if you pay more you will get the nice onsen you can see in the picture.
4. Spa Resort Ryokan Hakone Ginyu (Hakone)
Location: Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture
General Information: Spa Resort Ryokan Hakone Ginyu (箱根吟遊) is a luxurious and utterly romantic Onsen Ryokan located in Hakone. From the beautiful mountain onsen, you have stunning views of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park’s lush green nature. In the fall, you will be surrounded by colorful autumn leaves. Definitely, one of the most romantic times to stay at this onsen ryokan.
Romantic Onsen Day Trip: Out of all the recommended onsen for couples, this is the most romantic in my opinion. Every evening you can reserve their spa pavilion with a private onsen bath for 2 hours from 21:00 – 23:00 and spend a romantic time with your significant other. You will get an exclusive bartender who is going to mix your drinks, you can bring your own CD to play songs that bring back the sweetest memories of your time together, and for a little extra they will also prepare champagne and a bouquet.
Romantic Ryokan Stay: All the rooms feature a stunning outdoor onsen bath on the balcony or terrace with beautiful mountain or forest views. Spa Resort Ryokan Hakone Ginyu is by far one of the most beautiful and luxurious onsen ryokans I have seen. Just check out the video below and you will know what I mean. However, the room fares are also some of the steepest I have seen so far.
Access: The nearest JR station is Odawara Station from there you have to transfer to the Hakone Tozan Line or a local bus. The bus stops right in front of the onsen while the nearest train station Miyanoshita Station (Hakone Tozan Line) is about 5 minutes away.
Price: 12,000円 (about $110 or 98€) is the rental fee for the spa pavilion and the onsen. In addition, you will have to pay for your drinks, etc. Their lowest-priced room is called “SORA” but it is still about 60,000円 (about $550 or 490€) for a couple per night.
5. Tenku Kaiyu no Yado Suehiro (Near Nagoya)
Location: Nishiura Onsen, Near Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
General Information: Tenku Kaiyu no Yado Suehiro (天空海遊の宿 末広) is a soothing hot spring hotel located in Nishiura Onsen about 70 kilometers away from Nagoya. Nishiura Onsen is one of the 4 spa resorts that are part of Gamagori Onsen. Since it is located on a peninsula, you have a 360-degree panoramic view of the sea. Because of its scenic beauty, this place has been visited by many royal families and poets.
Romantic Ryokan Stay: Stay in a traditional Japanese-style room with tatami and your own private onsen on the balcony. From the hot tub, you can enjoy the sunset and beautiful views of Mikawa Bay. You could also choose one of the rooms that have an Ashiyu (onsen foot bath) on the balcony instead of an onsen tub. Something I haven’t seen anywhere else.
The ryokan’s onsen facilities are quite nice. They are located on the rooftop and feature several indoor baths and a very nice outdoor bath. You will also find 2 Kashikiri (rentable private onsen baths), but you have to pay extra, and the bathing time is only 45 minutes.
Access: This is the only problem of the small onsen town: public access isn’t the best. To closest station is Nishiura Station from where you have to continue by shuttle bus, however, I couldn’t find any detailed information about the bus schedule on the official homepage. On foot, it would be a 40-minute walk to the onsen. From Nagoya to Nishiura Station it takes about 1 hour. If you travel by Shinkansen, Tokyo and Osaka are about 2 – 3 hours away.
Price: From 28,000円 (about $256 or 226€) for 2 people per night for a Japanese-style room with private onsen on the balcony.
Website: www.hotelsuehiro.co.jp (External English page available)
6. Hotel Tenzankaku Kaiyutei (3h From Osaka)
Location: Shirahama Onsen Resort, Wakayama Prefecture
General Information: Hotel Tenzankaku Kaiyutei (ホテル 天山閣 海ゆぅ庭) is an onsen hotel located in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture’s famous hot spring town near Osaka. Shirahama is considered one of Japan’s top sand beaches and you can find many beautiful beach onsen with ocean views along its shores. It is also one of Japan’s oldest onsen towns together with Arima Onsen near Kobe and Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama.
Romantic Onsen Hotel Stay: From the rooms and your private wooden bath on the balcony you have beautiful ocean views. They are particularly spectacular around sunset. The hotel’s gender-separated onsen facilities are a bit basic but as a staying guest you can also enter Shirahama Onsen Park Sogen Hot Spring for free. It is located on a hill and has a nice rotenburo with an ocean view.
Access: The nearest JR station is Shirahama Station. From there you have to transfer to a local bus and get off at Sogen-no-yu. The onsen is an 11-minute walk from the bus stop. They also have a free shuttle bus service that can pick you up from the station. From Osaka, you can get here in about 3 hours and from Kyoto, it will take about 4 hours.
Price: From 13,300円 (about $122 or 109€) for 2 people per night for a room furnished with private onsen on the balcony.
Website: www.kaiyutei.jp (Japanese only)
7. Livemax Resort Kyotango Sea Front (3h From Kyoto)
Location: Kyotango, Near Kinosaki Onsen, Kyoto Prefecture
General Information: Livemax Resort Kyotango Sea Front (リブマックス リゾート 京丹後 シーフロント) is a charming hotel about 3 hours north of Kyoto. It is located in Kyotango, which is a part of the Sanin Kaigan Geopark and is also known as Kyoto’s natural wonder and hidden oasis. Kinosaki Onsen, one of my favorite hot spring towns in Japan, and Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s 3 scenic views, can also easily be visited as a day trip.
Romantic Overnight Stay: In this resort hotel you can spend some quality couple time in the onsen on your room’s balcony. Most of the rooms offer beautiful views of the nearby beach and the ocean which you can also enjoy while soaking in your onsen. You will also find gender-separated onsen facilities with a basic indoor bath and a stone rotenburo (open-air bath). The western rooms are a little bit cheaper in this hotel, but they also have Japanese-style ones.
Access: The nearest station is Amino Station (Kyoto Tango Railway) from where it is a 7-minute bus ride and a short 5-minute walk to the Onsen Hotel (get off at Obama bus stop). From Kyoto, you can get there in about 3 hours if you take the Hashidate Limited Express train bound for Kinosaki Onsen. The JR Pass covers the train ride until Fukuchiyama Station, but the 1-hour ride with the Kyoto Tango Railway isn’t covered. Some connections will also take 4 hours, so take some time to plan beforehand.
Price: From 18,000円 (about $164 or 147€) for 2 people per night. The room is a Western-style room with an open-air bath. The Japanese-style rooms are a bit more expensive.
Website: www.livemax-resort.com/kyotango (Japanese only)
8. Oedo Onsen Monogatari Odaiba (Tokyo)
Location: Tokyo, Near Ginza & Tsukiji Fish Market
General Information: Oedo-Onsen Monogatari (大江戸温泉物語) is an onsen theme park located in Odaiba, Tokyo. Odaiba is an artificial island where you can also find the famous and kinda romantic Body Immersive museum teamLab Planets and the world’s first digital art museum teamLab Borderless. It is a very popular spot for dates and many Japanese couples come here. My boyfriend and I always spent the last evening of our Japan trips in Odaiba.
Romantic Onsen Day Trip: During the day from 12:00 – 16:00 o’clock you can reserve the onsen theme park’s rooms with a private onsen for 2 hours. They only have 10 rooms, so I would recommend you to come here at 11:00 o’clock when the onsen and the reception for the rooms are open. You can choose between a deluxe suite (特別室), a semi-deluxe suite (準特別室), and a Japanese-style room (和室). Each room looks Japanese, but the suite’s private baths are bigger and look more like a jacuzzi.
Stay Overnight: While you can also stay overnight, I wouldn’t really recommend it, because it is a bit expensive (29,000円 for the cheapest room with a private onsen). For the same price, you can also find a nice onsen in a real onsen town. If you are only in Tokyo this is definitely a good option, though.
Access: Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Line is the nearest station to the onsen from where it is a 6-minute walk. You can also come to Odaiba via the Rinkai Line, but since the Yurikamome Line goes over the Rainbow Bridge it is the nicer option. The JR Pass isn’t valid on either of the trains, but I just learn Oedo Onsen has a free shuttle service.
Price: The rental fee for the cheapest room with a private onsen is 5,000円 (about $46 or 41€) for 2 people, but you also have to pay admission for the onsen which is an additional 2,720円 ($25 or 23€) per person. So the total price is about 12,000円 (about $110 or 98€).
Website: www.daiba.ooedoonsen.jp (English webpage available, but information about renting a room is only in Japanese)