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Old Aug 24, 07, 9:17 am   #1
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Tokyo Onsen

We don't all have the luxury of leaving Tokyo and visiting a beautiful onsen in natural surroundings. I'd like to start a thread showing the onsen opportunities available in Tokyo itself, and I'll start with these:

Etiquette Guide from the Union of Tokyo Bath Houses (LINK GONE)
But now back thanks to unavaca
AND NOW...
The animated version:
http://taito1010.com/foreigners.html

Sakura
Komagome 5-4-24 MAP Sugamo Station (JR Yamanote and Toei Mita lines)
entry ¥1,260 please see post #4 below

Myojin no yu http://www.myoujin-no-yu.com/
Kita Ayase station (North end of Chiyoda line)
Adachi ku, Oyata 1-18-1 Map
entry ¥900-¥1,200, ¥600 after 9pm (closes midnight) Tattoos not allowed
http://www.mapple.net/spots/G01301771102.htm
Looks like a great place to go in the evening for a night time view of suburban Tokyo

LaQua
Kouraku Bunkyo 1-3
How to get there This page shoes details of the Limousine Bus to NRT - if you spend a layover here, this will provide an easy journey back if your plane leaves after 10-10:30am
Open 11am to 9am, entry ¥2,565 - overnight charge ¥1,890 extra - No tattoos allowed (please see post #9)
* it's possible to get to the airport a little earlier by going to Kasuga station at 5:18 getting to Sugamo with the Toei Mita line, to Nippori on the JR Yamanote line and to NRT with a Keisei local service - this will get you there by 07:21 - the first Keisei Skyliner leaves Nippori at 6:35am - arriving NRT at 7:29. this route costs a little more - see post#13/14 for hotel info

Access from Shinagawa and to Haneda* LAYOVER OPTION
(*early morning bus to Haneda at weekends only - bus takes 15mins, arriving at 4:15am and 5:15am, and is available on first come first served basis, reserve at reception on arrival)
Open 24 hours
http://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/index.html
admission roughly 1,500yen. There is a shuttle bus from Heiwajima station on the Keikyu line, see website for timetable
Please see Post#41

Access from Shinjuku:

Utsokishi
Near Takaido Station on the Keio Inokashiro line (22mins ¥150 from Shinjuku changing at Meidaimae)
MAP Price ¥800 or ¥1,200 on weekends and holidays
Towel hire extra

Yukari
Chofu Station (Keio Line - from Shinjuku 14 mins ¥230)
or Musashi-Sakai Station (JR Chuo Main Line - from Shinjuku 22 mins¥290)
Chofu City, Jindaiji Higashi machi 2-12-2 (A courtesy bus is available from both stations) photos
price ¥1,650 (or ¥1,000 for a one hour ticket)

Yuraku
Mitaka Station (JR Chuo - from Shinjuku 14 mins ¥210 - there is a courtesy bus from Mitaka at 20 mins past the hour)
seems to be around ¥1,500 (hot stone sauna is ¥525 per 30 mins)

Easy access from Oedo line via Shinjuku & from Ikebukuro

Niwa No Yu (part of Toshimaen Amusement Park)
Mukouyama 3-25-1 MAP Toshimaen Stations (Seibu Ikebukuro Line or Toei Oedo Line - 2 mins walk
Standard entry fee is ¥2,250, for late night bathing (9pm until 11pm) it's ¥1,260.
open from 10am to 11pm - despite it being next to an amusement park, no kids are allowed
Bring a costume if you'd like to use the pool.

Access from Shibuya:

Seta Onsen (see post #2)
Futako Tamagawa Station (Den'En Toshi line from Shibuya - 9mins ¥190, or from Meguro via Ookayama)
Setagaya-ku, Seta 4-15-30 Map
English Website (¥500 discount coupon colour printer required)
Courtesy Bus from station (every 15mins) or 10 mins walk
¥2,300 (¥1,800 with web coupon) - early bird discount on week days
On a clear day you might be able to see Mount Fuji from the outside jacuzzi

Gardish Spa
CenterKita & CenterMinami station on Yokohama subway line - between Azamino station (Den-En toshi line from Shibuya - 32 mins, ¥470) and Shin Yokohama (Shinkansen line) Access map
And they even have a relaxation room for those of us with Airline cabin interior fetishes: http://www.gardish.com/relax/room.html
Entry ¥1,200 and ¥1,400 weekends (might be closed first Wednesday of the month)
For those who want some privacy (or a couple wanting time alone), a separate room and bath can be rented for an additional ¥4,200 an hour
http://www.gardish.com/spa/family.html
Korean Hot Stone Sauna is also available here for a very reasonable price

from Tokyo, Akihabara, Nippori/Ueno (& NRT - Keisei line to Aoto)

Kodainoyu
Okudo 4-2-1 (Katsushika-ku) MAP
Courtesy Buses take you from several stations (Shinkoiwa is probably best)
From ShinKoiwa TIMETABLE (JR Sobu line from Tokyo 12mins ¥160 or JR Sobu Chuo line from Akihabara 13mins ¥160)
From Kameari TIMETABLE (JR Joban Line from Nippori 18mins ¥160)
From Aoto TIMETABLE (Keiyo line from Nippori 9mins ¥180)
Entry ¥2,565 open from 10am to 8am
Private baths available from ¥2,100 per hour
Or can be used as budget accommodation as this shows: http://www.kodainoyu.jp/furo9.htm (you get chucked out at 7:30am)
As there is a bus connection with Aoto - this could be an interesting place to spend a very cheap NRT layover
Aoto station is a ¥700 taxi ride away should you need to get to NRT earlier (first train to NRT leaves Aoto at 05:22, arrives at 06:39 costs ¥890)
Total cost for overnight layover: return train to Aoto (bus to Onsen is free) ¥1,780 + onsen entry ¥2,565 = ¥4,345
add another ¥7/800 for a taxi to Aoto if your flight leaves early

--------------------------------

Neighbourhood Onsen
More down at heel (and costing no more than ¥450) Bring your own towel - A sauna will generally cost ¥300-¥400 extra

Near FrancFranc, Ometesando station: Shimizuyu
http://shimizuyu.jp/
Map: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=%E6%...BC%93&t=m&z=17
You can turn up empty handed here and hire everything you need for under 400yen on top of the basic 450yen charge. No tattoos.
(see post34 - recommended by the venerable QShoeGuy)

Tamagikuyu
Shirokane 3-2-3 MAP
(10 minutes from Shirokane Takanawa station and a 20 minute walk North from the Sheraton Miyako)
Open 3:30pm to 11:30pm, closed on Sundays

Takenoyu
Minami Azabu 1-15-12 MAP
15 minutes from Azabu Juban Station.
Open 3:30pm to 11:30pm, closed on Mondays (closed on Tuesday when Holiday is Monday)

Koshinoyu
Azabu Juban 1-5-22 (3pm to 11:30pm) interior photo (men's side)
Map
Open 3pm to mindnight, closed Tuesdays
Note: there is another onsen upstairs called Azabu Onsen and this is about three times the price

EDIT - 14 April 2008 - Both are now closed THIS THREAD (post #53)

Jakotsuyu
Asakusa 1-11-11 MAP
preview Asakusa and Tawaramachi Stations
Which has a nice rotenburo
open 1pm to midnight, closed Tuesdays (closed on Wednessday when Holiday is Tuesday)
reviewed in post #43 by standing_baba
Jakotsuyu is tattoo friendly


Rokuryu Kosen
Ikenohata 3-4-20 MAP just next to Ueno Zoo
Nezu Station (Chiyoda line)
Open 3:30pm to midnight, closed Mondays - BE WARNED, the water here is particularly hot

Shimizuyu - reopened/refurbished 2008
MAP Musashi Koyama - two stops from Meguro on the Tokyu Meguro line
Includes attractive ladies only 'rock sauna/bath' for reasonable charge

Brand new facility (opened April 2007)
Togoshi Ginza Onsen
Togoshi 2-1-6 Map
3 mins walk Togoshi station (Toei Asakusa line A2 exit) or 8 mins from Togoshi-Ginza station (Tokyu Ikegami line)
open from 2pm to 1am (and from 8am to noon additionally on Sundays)
Several kinds of bath here including a rotenburo

Otomeyu
Funabori 7-3-13 MAP Funabori Station (Toei Shinjuku line - East) 10 mins walk
Lots of different baths to try here - there's also a bar with cheap food and drinks
open from 3pm to midnight (Sundays & Holidays 2pm to 11:30pm), closed on Mondays (closed on Tuesday when Holiday is Monday)

Tsurunoyu
A little nearer Funabori Station
Funabori 2-11-16 MAP - which is more traditional (but had a 'facelift' in 2004)

Mikoku Onsen

Ryogoku area - 3-30-8 Ishihara, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
MAP
Further info in posts 21 & 22 in this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/japan...o-tokyo-2.html (review in post 30)
This bath house was highlighted to me as one suitable for those who have problems regulating their temperature, as someone pregnant it was ideal. Recommended for novices unused to >40C (104F) bathing or those who want some effective massage on the cheap (twin waterfalls will melt away any shoulder tension).

-------------------------

Expensive Onsen not personally recommended

Zaboo Onsen CLOSED - see post 20
Nishi-Azabu 1-2-10 (opposite Roppongi Hills)
CAUTIONARY STORY HERE
price ¥2,880 + ¥500 for first time visitors (see cautionary story explaining what they can mean by 'visitors') No tattoos allowed
check website 'campaign' section for discount coupons - there's currently one that shaves ¥290 off the entry fee

The Tokyo Prince Park Tower Hotel has a real Onsen in its Spa/Fitness centre
Guests have a reduced admission charge - I think it might be around ¥2,000, with non guests paying double this. Note: you must be over 25 years old to use this facility.
If you are a guest this this is good value if you're using the pool, sauna/steam rooms & gym

--------------------------

Onsen Theme Park
Oedo Monogatari
2-57 Aomi - Free shuttle from Tokyo Teleport station in the Odaiba area and from other stations (including Shinagawa) More info here
Price ¥2,827 until 6pm, evening rate ¥1,987 - please see website for early morning and late night prices. No tattoos allowed
Another potential place to spend an NRT layover as Limousine Buses to NRT leave from hotels in the Odaiba area (journey takes just over an hour)

--------------------------
HAVEN'T COVERED YOUR AREA?

The Union of Tokyo Bath Houses publishes a map every 5 years covering the Greater Tokyo area. The current one is from 2002, a new map will be published October 007. In the mean time, here's the 2002 map - note that not all bath houses belong to this Union, there are a couple of Sento I know of which aren't on the map.
http://www.1010.or.jp/search/msearch.html
Click on the ward relevant to you and a map will open with red dots of the bath houses for the area - just click on the dots. Use an online translation tool if necessary. Someone on the Japan forum will be happy to help if you get stuck or need more information
Another good site with photos and recommendations: http://www.sanana.net/megumi/yu_megu...o23_sento.html And a list of black water baths here

--------------------------
OSAKA
I found out about this place, like the look of it, and am sticking it in here too

Ikkyu Onsen Map
http://www.onsen19.com/
¥800 (¥700 for half day admission) open from 10am to 2am

Getting there - Here's a timetable for a courtesy bus that will take you there from several points in the local area. The most useful of these seems to be Nishi Kujo station (which links to Umeda on the JR loop line) and these depart at 10:15, 10:55, 11:35, 12:15 and so on in that column.


Other Onsen may not allow those with tattoos, I have included this information when I have known for sure

Much of the information from this thread has been taken from the websites of two Onsen connoisseurs: www.yumeguri.com & www21.ocn.ne.jp/~spa-mich

Last edited by LapLap; Sep 16, 16 at 5:07 am
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Old Aug 24, 07, 11:29 am   #2
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There's a real onsen near Yoga station -- I've been to it but forget the name. Separate indoor men's and women's facilities and an outdoor co-ed (bathing suit) facility. Don't know the cost. It was pretty nice (except the view was nothing special). I wonder if this is the same one as the second one you mention above?
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Old Aug 24, 07, 12:28 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
There's a real onsen near Yoga station -- I've been to it but forget the name. Separate indoor men's and women's facilities and an outdoor co-ed (bathing suit) facility. Don't know the cost. It was pretty nice (except the view was nothing special). I wonder if this is the same one as the second one you mention above?
Futako Tamagawa station is just one stop from Yoga - and the Seta Onsen seems to be between them both. Map So it is probably the same one. (EDIT - Original Post has changed so Onsen is in differrent position now)

I should really emphasise that days where it would be clear enough to see Mount Fuji are the exception rather than the rule.

Last edited by LapLap; Aug 25, 07 at 11:43 pm
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Old Aug 25, 07, 5:18 pm   #4
  
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I will happily state that Sakura, in Komagome, was fantastic. And I believe that if you pay the 200 yen for their "member's card," you get a discount on everything else - food, massages, return visits. The discount was enough to offset the cost of the card and some more.

LapLap din't include some of the more "tourist-y" onsen in Tokyo, so I hope I'm not remiss in wondering...Note that supposedly these are onsen where they have dug deep into the ground to access hot water - are we counting places like LaQua, Ooedo Monogatari, and the Grand Shiespa/Zaboo (Roppongi)?
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Old Aug 25, 07, 6:38 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by patchmonkey View Post
LapLap din't include some of the more "tourist-y" onsen in Tokyo, so I hope I'm not remiss in wondering...Note that supposedly these are onsen where they have dug deep into the ground to access hot water - are we counting places like LaQua, Ooedo Monogatari, and the Grand Shiespa/Zaboo (Roppongi)?
All of the places above (I believe) are classified as Onsen. I understand the law was changed not so long ago and natural mineral water can be collected from lower into the ground than before and qualify. And there are other differences besides mineral content. I understand that the water at the Prince Park Tower bubbles up at around 35C and that at that at Koshinoyu and other black water spas in the Minami area come up at about 25C (so need to be heated further). In researching this I've been shocked to realise just how many sentos designated as Onsen have closed down recently, they really are disappearing fast. (There's a list of just some of the Sento that have closed in the last 5 years here)

The list is still a work in progress and I'm currently concentrating on those that, in my view at least, offer good value for money. I feel a bit strange recommending Ooedo Monogatari when I haven't been able to bring myself to go there (Gardish Spa and Yuraku appeal to me more). But I do intend to include these - probably in the same section as the Prince Hotel Onsen.

Does anyone know if LaQua qualifies as an Onsen?

EDIT TO ADD - list has been updated

-------------------------------------------------

Gorgeous modern Sento - Kita Ayase Station
Taiheiyu? 大平湯
Aoi 6-21-3 (Adachi-ku) MAP (Gottano Station bottom left)
430Yen - closed Mondays

(I've included this for my own reference)

Last edited by LapLap; Feb 12, 12 at 3:47 am
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Old Aug 26, 07, 1:18 am   #6
  
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
Does anyone know if LaQua qualifies as an Onsen?
I believe LaQua qualifies. It's also not a bad spa for those days when you really don't have time to leave town - quite tasteful and the masseurs are pretty good IME. The upper floor which has some mixed-sex saunas and relaxation areas (everyone wearing pyjamas) is very nice for couples who want to hold hands in a sauna.
I understand the modern spa in Roppongi is more upscale. And the one on O-Daiba (Oedo Monogatari) is more theme-park-ish. And don't forget the modern spa at Toshima-en. Lots of these modern places are opening up - just as the traditional sento close down...

My favourite onsen in Tokyo is "Moegi no Yu": http://www.okutamas.co.jp/moegi/index_mo.html

Well... it's officially in greater Tokyo (not central Tokyo) and it takes almost two hours to get there from Shinjuku. It is surrounded by tree-covered mountains and it's a great place to soak after hiking in the hills on the Western edge of Tokyo.

Last edited by jib71; Aug 26, 07 at 1:26 am
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Old Aug 26, 07, 2:07 am   #7
  
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I believe LaQua qualifies. It's also not a bad spa for those days when you really don't have time to leave town - quite tasteful and the masseurs are pretty good IME. The upper floor which has some mixed-sex saunas and relaxation areas (everyone wearing pyjamas) is very nice for couples who want to hold hands in a sauna.

I seem to recall that LaQua is open from the early afternoon until something like 8 or 9 AM -- at least, I have on a few 24h layovers (or something) in NRT simply left my baggage in the airport, taken the train to Tokyo and onsen'ed/slumbered off in their relaxation area of LaQua until it was time to head back to the airport -- thus avoiding the whole uncharming airport-hotel-thing. Why yes, there's a pool for "sleeping" (shallow water, just enough to cover a normal-sized body when horizontal, and with a thing to put your head on), and there's a lounge-like area with recliners and a bar

If anyone finds a stupid gaijin sleeping at length in LaQua, try to poke it and say "hey FlyerTalk" to see if it might be me

Something that I didn't see in the org. post, and which I think bears mention for Onsen-neophytes, is, that many onsen prohibit guests with tattoos due to the stigma such carries in Japan. Not all, though: notably, I've been rubbing shoulders and had very interesting conversations and subsequent "nights in the town" by some full-body-tattooed Japanese gentlemen (we all know what they are, yes?) in Kyoto.

Still, if you've got tattoo's, then I advice to verify if a given onsen will allow you in before going there.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 2:30 am   #8
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Still, if you've got tattoo's, then I advice to verify if a given onsen will allow you in before going there.
I was updating the OP as you posted it seems - I've mentioned LaQua before (long ago) as a potential place to spend a layover and it's great to have you confirm that it can work this way. Hopefully the other suggestions (Oedo Monogatari & Kodainoyu) will present some interesting alternatives - the Kodainoyu will let you bathe/sauna/drink/watch & surf through Japanese TV.

I did mention the tattoo taboo, but I was only able to include this information about two Onsen (Zaboo & Oedo Monogatari) as they were the only places I knew for sure that banned them outright. It's just never been an issue for me. I'll be happy to update should anyone know of others that disapprove of body art.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
And don't forget the modern spa at Toshima-en.
Done! Thanks!

Last edited by LapLap; Aug 26, 07 at 9:41 am
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Old Aug 26, 07, 5:21 am   #9
  
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I was updating the OP as you posted it seems - I've mentioned LaQua before (long ago) as a potential place to spend a layover and it's great to have you confirm that it can work this way. Hopefully the other suggestions (Oedo Monogatari & Kodainoyu) will present some interesting alternatives - the Kodainoyu will let you bathe/sauna/drink/watch & surf through Japanese TV.

I did mention the tattoo taboo, but I was only able to include this information about two Onsen (Zaboo & Oedo Monogatari) as they were the only places I knew for sure that banned them outright. It's just never been an issue for me. I'll be happy to update should anyone know of others that disapprove of body art.
I can then confirm that LaQua denies (indicated by quite cute, if incomprehensible, cartoons in the elevator and with accompanying text (in Japanese)) tattoo'ed bathers access to their facilities.

As a layover, it's absolutely excellent, except that one is usually unhappy when it's time to leave
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Old Aug 26, 07, 7:23 am   #10
  
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Just how seriously are these tattoo prohibitions enforced anyway, esp. for Gaijin Smashing foreigners? I can't really see most Japanese onsens dragging paid-up customers out of the bath because you've got a rose on your ankle or something... but how would, say, a young blonde gaijin lady with wings on her back fare? (And no, that's not me.)
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Old Aug 26, 07, 4:36 pm   #11
  
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Just how seriously are these tattoo prohibitions enforced anyway, esp. for Gaijin Smashing foreigners? I can't really see most Japanese onsens dragging paid-up customers out of the bath because you've got a rose on your ankle or something... but how would, say, a young blonde gaijin lady with wings on her back fare? (And no, that's not me.)
I have occasionally seen/heard it applied when a customer was at the counter with a tattoo visible upon registering, but since I am not "decorated", I dealt with my business and went onwards to the baths and didn't see how it fare from there.

An American woman I knew in Japan (no, not *that* way, I knew her husband and kid too) had a small Disney cartoon character on her ankle, and she was occasionally complaining about being ejected from onsen on that account. I do not know if she was going out on a hyperbole when saying "ejected", though.

Also, I have never noticed any tattooed customer - gaijin or otherwise - in any onsen that I've visited and where it was signposted that tattoos were taboo.

That said, there are plenty of good onsen where tattoos are not taboo, and where some Japanese sport true pieces of traditional artwork (and are, generally, eager to talk about them too if you're polite and genuinely curious).
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Old Aug 27, 07, 10:07 pm   #12
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dupe post - sorry!
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Old Aug 28, 07, 2:43 pm   #13
  
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Laplap,

You might as well note that Tokyo Dome Hotel is right south of the LaQua Onsen you list. Its a fine hotel for reasonable length stays. I stayed there 3 nights this year. Very good staff and room!! (27th floor room facing Tokyo Dome)

Sanosuke!
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Old Aug 28, 07, 5:39 pm   #14
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You might as well note that Tokyo Dome Hotel is right south of the LaQua Onsen you list.
Noted.
For those interested, this website shows meticulous photos of a type A twin room at the Tokyo Dome.
http://sheepcote.jp/rum/hotel/tdo2-p01.htm
(press page 1, 2, 3 etc for the guided tour)
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Old Aug 30, 07, 10:43 am   #15
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I've been to Araki Kosen in Seibu Chichibu, and that was fantastic! Our room came with its own "roten buro", a tub (made out of hinoki wood) on an outdoor deck overlooking the river. The place is about an hour away from Ikebukuro on the Red Arrow express train.
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