Our comprehensive guide to the Japanese onsen, Japanese wellness retreats, accommodation and spas. With a history of rituals crafted over centuries and sacred hot spring waters, Japanese onsen and wellness resorts and retreats are amongst the worlds best. Some of the best yoga retreats and onsen (Japanese hot spring baths) adorn the stunning natural beauty of Japan making it one of the best wellness vacation locations in Asia.
Tsubaki Onsen, Oku-Yugawara, Japan
Tsubaki is located in Oku-Yugawara, within Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Each season overlays a new patina on the serene beauty of the surrounding country. This striking beauty is found within an hour of the heart of Tokyo.
Lounging in a spacious Grand Hot Spring Spa soothes away daily fatigue and stress. Guests are requested to respect the traditional Japanese way of sharing the grand onsen (bath) by bathing without swimwear. The excellent spa Ichirin “Zen Style Spa” completes the wellness experience and the facilities at the spa and skill of the therapists makes this one of the premier wellness vacations in Japan.
Visitors to the area can enjoy the walking paths and wide variety of flowers on show throughout the are in the vicinity. The ryokan offers a variety of rooms in the main building, as well as an annex as well. This inn prides itself on preserving and introducing traditional Japanese culture to both domestic and international guests. Guests can enjoy a delicious seasonal menu with fresh regional ingredients, which change throughout the year.
Gora Kadan, Hakone, Japan
A member of the exemplary Relais and Chateaux Group, Gora Kadan knows how to please its guests with the most exacting standards. Set in the onsen-rich Hakone National Park, Gora Kadan was originally a resort house for relatives of the Imperial Family. In 1952 it became a public ryokan, and in 1989, its main building, a luxurious triumph of bamboo, stone and tile and native woods, was built by a series of prominent architects.
Gora Kadan has two wells from which mineral rich, hot spring water flows and feeds the open-air baths. The minerals contained in the spring water are regarded as having many healthy qualities promoting general good health, and also, smooth, soft skin.
Highly recommended is having a massage from the wide selection offered, preceded by a good, long soak in the onsen spa to first condition the skin.
The Peninsula Spa, The Peninsula Tokyo
Revitalize mind, body and spirit in a five-star atmosphere, and indulge The Spa’s menu of Oriental, Ayurvedic and European-inspired treatments. Be transported to an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where lavish treatment rooms, each with a private shower, Japanese yukimi shoji screens and adjustable heated beds await. A relaxation area with a thermal suite and aromatic steam rooms, dry saunas, lifestyle showers and shaved ice fountains completes your luxurious spa journey.
Dive into the 20-metre indoor heated pool with views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and Hibiya Park, or make the most of the Fitness Centre’s cutting-edge equipment and expert personal trainers.
The Peninsula Spa epitomizes the legendary Peninsula service and the very best of holistic spa treatments. This ultimate escape from the city is situated far above the bustle of the most exclusive district in Tokyo, with views towards the Imperial Palace Gardens offering a welcoming sanctuary in which to restore balance to mind and body. The Peninsula Spa has offered a collection of bespoke spa treatments inspired by European, Japanese and Ayurvedic philosophies for an entirely new, holistic experience.
Atami Sekitei Onsen, Atami, Japan
Sekitei is a stone pavilion, and this ryokan is set in a quiet residential neighborhood of pink cherry blossoms and overlooking Atami Bay. This onsen area, only 60KM southwest of Tokyo is less than an hour by Shinkansen (bullet train) and has long been a wellness vacation in Japan for many of Tokyo’s residents.
Atami, meaning “Hot Sea.” As the story goes, once, a geyser used to rain hot spring waters onto the sea killing the fishermens’ harvest and endangering their livelihood. Thanks to the prayers of a Buddhist monk, the geyser moved inland and Atami became famous as a source of hot spring waters and indeed a great wellness vacation in Japan.
Guests at Atami Sekitei can enjoy relaxing natural mineral hot springs and gorgeous traditional Japanese kaiseki cuisine from seasonal ingredients, and experience the celebrated hospitality and quintessential ambiance of Japan.