11 Must-Visit Onsen in Japan

In Japan, onsen used to be the way the entire country bathed; now, they’re the way the entire country unwinds. Many Japanese go to these traditional hot baths multiple times per week—visits to the purifying natural hot springs are often a family affair. Onsen in Japan are ubiquitous, whether centrally located or tucked away among the mountains, and range from simple to luxurious.

Just 90 minutes from the Jikoundani, where Japanese snow monkeys soak in their very own onsen, this ryokan’s onsen is exclusive to overnight guests and divided into three minimalist chambers, each with decreasing amounts of light. The last is nearly pitch black, except for a dramatic crack of light that creates a sensory-deprived “in utero”-style soak.
More From AFAR