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Best Onsen Ryokan in/near Tokyo?

My wife and I are heading to Japan next month and would love to stay at a traditional Japanese home (onsen ryokan) for a couple of days. I'd appreciate any advice on places you've been to that you loved.

What we're looking for - hot spring, traditional Japanese home

Timing - Mid April

Budget - Willing to look at all options

Length of trip - 2 days at Ryokan

Location - We'll be based in Tokyo so anything within a reasonable day trip

3 Answers

answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Doug, 

we were in Japan in March 2016 and it was incredible! We visited TokyoKyotoand a couple of onsen towns. I talk about the JR Pass that you can use on the train network in my blog post below. There are also seven other posts which detail our time in each of the places we visited.

You can do a day trips to HakoneMt. Fuji and the snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park from Tokyo. 

We loved Shibu Onsen and Hakone, but Hakone was very touristy. 

More about onsen (also how to onsen) here:

We found a bunch of really cool local izakayas in Tokyo that had great food and drinks. Check out Ebisu Yokocho (an old shopping centre full of izakayas), the Golden Gai alleyways, and under the train tracks near Koenji station. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tokyo (attraction)
  2. Kyoto (city)
  3. Hakone (attraction)
  4. Mt. Fuji (attraction)
  5. Jigokudani Monkey Park (attraction)
  6. Shibu Onsen (attraction)
  7. Ebisu Yokocho (attraction)
  8. Golden Gai (restaurant)
  9. Koenji (attraction)

answered by
Shinobu from Chiba

There are countless "onsen ryokans" and I recommend Hakone.

This is a very popular destination where many tourists visit and I think it should be a good option in terms of the access from Tokyo and the quality.

Have a nice trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hakone (attraction)

answered first by
Sabine from Amsterdam

About 2 years ago we stayed at Ryokan Yarimikan in Hirayu Hot Spring. Around 5 hours by bus from Tokyo. It was absolutely amaaaaazing! Like you are in a totally different world. Would love to go back one day. No one spoke one world English which made the experience even more fun actually :-). They were so helpful and sweet! Staying for 2 nights is perfect. Found a website (didn't exist when we went :-)): but the photo's and the website don't do it justice. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hirayu Hot Spring (attraction)

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