In many Japanese onsen (hot spring) inns, there are private baths that you can rent to bathe with your significant other or your family. The best part about private baths is being able to spend your time in their leisurely without having to worry about strangers. Here are 5 popular private baths.
1. Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel (Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma)
Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel sits at 1,200m above sea level and is a place where you can enjoy activities like golf, tennis, and skiing all year round. After you're active, the rusticity of an open-air bath seems really nice, but why not try relaxing leisurely in the private open-air bath complete with tatami room? There are two baths, a cypress bath where the aroma of the wood can help you relax, or the round bath made with Shigaraki-ware pottery unique to Kusatsu Onsen. Since there's the tatami room attached, these baths are recommended for families with small children. The private baths start at 3,200 JPY for 45 minutes per room (fee separate fromlodging fees). There is a 2-hour private bath plan that comes with lunch (starting at 3,800 JPY (excl. tax) *only for 2 people sharing the room), so this might be good for people who aren't staying at the hotel who would still like to reserve the private bath. Fully enjoy your own private space bathing in the waters from the well of Kusatsu Onsen!
2. Miyuki-so Hanamusubi (Arima Onsen, Hyogo)
Arima Onsen is Japan's oldest spring that has been long beloved by the royal family, aristocrats, the upper class, and more. Miyuki-so Hanamusubi is on an elevation a little way away from the rest of the onsen town. It was designed with flowers as a concept, and it has a lovely view of the mountains. If you want to enjoy a private onsen, it's recommended to try their guest rooms with half-open air or fully open-air baths or rent a separate open-air bath. The popular Tenbou Kinsen Rented Open-air Bath Hanagokoro (3,240 JPY for 45 minutes (incl. tax, separate from lodging fees)) is a bath where you can enjoy spending your time leisurely while being healed by the fragrance of the cypress! The spring is the characteristic Kinsen reddish-brown waters of Arima Onsen that has a high iron content and a higher salt content than seawater. Because of that, it has high antibacterial properties and you won't feel too chilly when you get out of the bath, but if you get out of the bath just like that your skin will feel prickly so make sure to rinse off with regular hot water afterwards.
3. Nagomi no Tatami Furo Monogatari no Yado Ogawaya (Gero Onsen, Gifu)
This ryokan is famous for its bath that is in a tatami-matted room the size of around 100 tatami mats, in the mild Gero Onsen that's said to be one of Japan's top three onsen. Here you can enjoy the sight of the Hida River and the Gero Ohashi. You can fully enjoy the waters of this spring straight from the well in the ROKKAN suite with an all-weather half-open air bath or the private bath (3,000 JPY for 45 minutes (excl. tax, separate from hotel fees)). There are two kinds of private baths that you can choose from, the chic Suzuriyu made from black granite or the gentle Kasuriyu made from white wood. If you make reservations beforehand everything will go smoothly. You can use the private baths on a day trip, but since you've made your way here, it would be good to stay the night and try their breakfast which is said to be Japan's most delicious breakfast!
4. Iwai no Yado Noboribetsu Grand Hotel (Noboribetsu Onsen, Hokkaido)
Noboribetsu Grand Hotel has a rare dome-shaped Roman bath and a garden open-air bath with a waterfall. In the Roman bath you can enjoy three hot springs with different qualities, namely an iron bath, a sulfur bath, and a chloride bath. The garden open-air bath is popular because you can enjoy the sight of the seasons all throughout the year. The private family bath is 3,240 JPY for 50 minutes (incl. tax, hotel fees separate) is perfectly sized for those with small children to enjoy the hot water directly from the onsen well. Also, for couples that want to enjoy a slightly luxurious trip, you can stay in the guestrooms with open-air baths or baths with a view. There are rooms with open-air baths in both Western and Japanese styles, so you can pick one based on your needs. Please visit this facility!
*The open-air baths in the rooms aren't filled with water from the natural springs but are artificial radium baths.
5. Yufu no Gou Yufunogo-saigakukan (Yufuin Onsen, Oita)
Yufu no Gou Yufunogo-saigakukan is in a perfect location facing Mt. Yufu. There are 2 hot springs in this area, and you can enjoy them straight from the source in this inn. Other than the unisex indoor baths and open-air baths, there are two kinds of private baths that are also indoor and open-air so you can enjoy them even if it's raining or if you have small children with you. Reserving them is free for those staying at the hotel. Those who aren't can reserve them for 2,100 JPY for 50 minutes (incl. tax) at the front desk the day of from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. There's the Waki no Yu bath featuring large boulders and the Ginjou no Yu bath made from a sake barrel that's big enough for 4 adults to relax in. Both of them allow you to gaze upon the nature of Mt. Yufu while fully enjoying the luxury of the onsen. The hot spring has gentle, clear water that's easy on the skin and isn't too prickly. Lately their drinkable spring water has been popular within this hotel. Why not take in the power of the onsen that wells up in this area into your body as well as out?
Here are some of the most popular onsen among Japanese people where you can enjoy a luxurious private time with your family or as a couple.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.