With more than 3,000 hot spring resorts or onsens in Japan, soaking in a tub of bubbling hot water is a common local practice to relax and idle your time away. Dating back to the ancient Edo Period, the onsen used to be a holy place where the sick treated their injuries and illnesses. The establishment of traditional inns, or ryokans, started back then as those with chronic diseases started to stay for weeks or more at the onsen area for therapeutic purposes.
Nowadays, visiting the onsen has become one of the top must-dos to include in your Japan itinerary. If you wish to pamper yourself a little further, stay in an en-suite ryokan for an indulgent overnight onsen experience. You may be wondering which one to go to with the sheer number of hot spring resorts in Japan. Fret not! The locals refer to the left of Mount Fuji in Japan Honshu (“Main lsland”) as West Japan while the rest as East Japan. This article will guide you to the 10 great private onsen in Kyoto and in nearby cities.
Kyoto is one of the favourite tourist destinations in Japan, known for its sheer number of ancient temples and shrines. In fact, many of these well-preserved historical sites in this former Imperial capital of Japan are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This makes Kyoto one of the best places in Japan to have traditional experiences and learn more about the culture of the country. Other than putting these tourist attractions on your to-do list, you can enjoy a luxurious overnight experience at these ryokans with private onsen in Kyoto, too!
Kyoto Yunohana Hot Spring Resort Suisen or Suisen is a modern ryokan property that only welcomed its first guests from April 2013. The hot spring here is filled with water from the famous Yunohana hot spring, which is believed to have healed the federal warlords’ wounds in the historical Warring States period. Nowadays, many flock to Yunohana for its curative benefits towards skin ailments such as eczema and athlete’s foot. In addition, Suisen serves noteworthy authentic local cuisine that are bound to whet your appetite. Enjoy a peaceful overnight stay at this charming ryokan with arguably the best onsen in Kyoto!
Recently constructed, with a unique penchant for individualized guest satisfaction, this sudden stay promises to exist a cut above the rest. Characterized by thirteen individual rooms and comfortable bedding, as well as select meal packages, this ryokan can make you forget life’s hustle and bustle, in favor of a more favorable pace of living.
You’ll enjoy a wide variety of winning meals while relaxing in the private dining room on site! The world-class Japanese chef on the premises has long since established himself as a culinary force when it comes to the delivery of tantalizing meals to hungry guests. And when you pair a choice beverage with your hand-cooked meal, you’ll find yourself closer than ever to a world-class experience with authentic Japanese hospitality.
And while you take the time to soak in all of the surrounding nature that the immediate region has to offer, why not do so in the onsite hot springs? Relax and receive the healing rejuvenation that a hoy spring can uniquely provide, and discover those moments when you can feel your worries slip away. When you’re not busy making memories in the hot springs, you’re going to want to check out Spa Raran, the onsite beauty treatment region which puts its wide portfolio of services to work!
Located in Tango, the north coastal area of Kyoto Prefecture, Amayadorino Yado Ujo Soan is a 6-villa inn featuring en-suite onsen in all rooms. Relax in the private open-air bath with healing water flowing from the Yuhigaura Bay. Enjoy the clear skies, beautiful scenery and the most romantic spots in Kyoto from spring to autumn. Immerse yourself in a unique onsen experience in the rain if you stay from late autumn to winter, as Tango is known as the “rainy town”. When you aren’t in the tub, savor the seasonal fine cuisines delicately prepared for you. Indeed, this inn is truly a perfect “shelter from the rain”, as its Japanese name “Amayadorino” suggests!
Though a tad on the pricier side of things, you’ll find that your investment is a well-spent one, the instant you first gaze upon the extent of your lodging when onsite. First and foremost, the site itself may as well be a natural paradise; there’s a healing water bath sourced directly from a local river, which together with sunbathed spaces, indigenous plant species, and friendly staff, will easily transform your stay into an unforgettable one.
Depending on your stay, you will be treated to a combination of futon bed, open-air bath, and select meals included with the price of the stay. There’s also a beauty salon on the premises, where your time is your own while receiving hands-on massage treatments, as well as a combination of aromas and beauty regiments meant to bring about the best you. When you’re not in the midst of a beauty salon treatment, there’s a reading lounge for your enjoyment, easily located above the path coming from the local garden.
When you’re looking to evoke the nostalgia sourced exclusively from deep within Japan, we encourage you to try this stay on for size. Every inch of this location and every second of your stay is entirely worth the investment! From the waters of the local bay to the healing hands at the transformative, onsite beauty salon, it’s a stay as memorable as it is life-changing.
Ujo Soan (Adult Only)
Address: Amino-cho Kitsu 247
This ryokan with a private onsen in Kyoto is one of our top picks, thanks to an authentic Japanese experience that guests will feel from check-in to check out. The rooms are spacious, all offering a private, open-air bath. Each room can accommodate up to four guests but of course, it’s great for couples too; it’s worth noting that they only offer adults-only room types. There is an on-site restaurant and also, WiFi is available throughout the property. Nazuna Kyoto Nijo-jo is also well-located, only a 10-minute walk from Marutamachi Station and near Imperial Palace. If you want to have a serene and private getaway but still want to be at the heart of Kyoto, do consider this highly rated Kyoto onsen ryokan that you’ll surely love.
Enjoy a luxury experience in the western part of Kyoto and be pampered with a hot spring bath, either en-suite or outdoors. Arashimaya Benkei offers both indoor and outdoor baths utilizing nature for a more relaxing experience. After a nice hot bath, guests can relax in their traditionally designed rooms, fitted with modern conveniences such as TV, fridge, and an electric kettle with free tea bags. WiFi is also available and guests can enjoy a multi-course dinner in the guest room or in-room wearing the provided yukata robes. In the morning, you can enjoy breakfast and have the chance to meet other guests in the large dining room. This ryokan offers personalized, homey experience while providing high-quality service and hospitality to every guest. Location is great, only a 5-minute walk from Keifuku Arashiyama Station.
Address: Ukyo-ku Saga Tenryuji Susukinobaba-cho 34
Migiwatei Ochikochi is a ryokan that has existed since the Edo Period, and all rooms boast open-air bath with ocean view. Originally called “Kagofuji”, its guest list included Japanese literary giants. All rooms are spacious and tastefully furnished, with an unrivalled panoramic view of nature. Taste fresh delicate seafood from the Seto Inland Sea. Listen to the sound of the ocean waves on the wooden deck as you enjoy the scenic and relaxing open-air bath in the privacy of your own room.
Despite a steep price tag, you can expect nothing but world-class hospitality, for the complete extent of your stay in Kyoto, Japan. Depending on the day’s tides, you’ll be greeted with selective high and low ocean levels, a phenomenon which makes for sensationally unique perspectives from just inside the shoreline. Once onsite, you and one other privileged guest of choice will be treated to individual beds, as well as the aforementioned bath, part of a private bathroom. Your private bath actually represents one of the true highlights of the stay: a gorgeous, outdoor individual pool with an uninterrupted, panoramic perspective.
The restaurant serves up awe-inspiring dishes daily, everything from select, local fish catches to international favorites! If you’re looking to spend time in your room, you can even elect to order traditional food to be delivered to the room itself.
If you’re looking to take advantage of your stay, the beauty salon treatments come very highly recommended! A private spa and select treatments will have you looking and feeling your best, and appointment scheduling remains flexible as ever. From the boat dock to the availability of a custom Western breakfast served daily to your door, there’s so much to do and to experience at this unique-caliber stay!
Located on the slope of Miyahama Onsen hill, Sekitei is a popular ryokan with a beautiful Japanese garden. While you may not get the impressive ocean view right in front of the inn, this hidden location creates a calm and tranquil feeling as you enjoy the overnight onsen experience. You will be able to spot Miyajima Island with its giant torii gate from the ryokan.
At Sekitei, the chef will prepare your favourite dishes using seasonal local ingredients to satisfy your refined tastebuds. Besides enjoying the private onsen in your room, you can also hop into public hot spring baths, delicately designed for a unique experience. Furthermore, you can read a book in the library overlooking the beautiful and peaceful garden.
A ryokan with a private onsen near Kyoto is Araya Totoan. Hidden in the Yamashiro hot spring area, Araya Totoan is an elegant inn that has been around for 18 generations. Calm your senses in the rare and precious Yamashiro hot spring water that is highly acclaimed since the old Taisho period. Its superb quality has even garnered the gold prize at the International exhibition of mineral hot spring in Germany!
Enjoy a delicious meal made with rich local ingredients without too much cooking and garnishing. Admire the beautifully crafted Kutani-yaki and Yamanaka lacquerware handed down for generations used to present your dishes. At night, chill in the elegant ‘Arisugawa Sanso’ bar lounge that was loved by the Imperial Family in the bygone days.
Address: Yunogawa, Yamashiro-onsen, Kaga-city, Ishikawa Prefecture
Price: from 702.05 USD for two guests per night
Access: please refer to website
Also located in the Yamashiro hot spring area, Beniya Mukayu is a cosy 17-room inn nestled in the mountains of Yakushiyama. All rooms are fitted with a private open-air bath on the terrace. Nonetheless, you are free to enjoy the large public bath facility as well if you wish. The water from Yamashiro onsen is the most superior and it is good even for drinking and long-time bathing.
Since Kaga is known for fine quality foods and craft, you can expect a lovely feast at the inn, not just for your tastebuds, but also for your eyes. In fact, if you stay in a Japanese-Western-Style room, dinner and breakfast can be served in the comfort of your room. If you’re near the ancient capital, be sure to check out this hotel with a private onsen near Kyoto.
Address: 55-1-3 Yamashiro Onsen, Kanazawa
Free wi-fi Free parking Room service Spa Yoga 24-hour front desk Smoking rooms (on request) Garden
Otozure has 18 private guest rooms, and all of them are fitted with open-air bath for your exclusive use. Compared to other inns, the size of the rooms here is much larger for unparalleled comfort, ranging from 69 to 139 square meters. If you wish, you may also enjoy a soak in the large public bath at the main wing - Otani Sanso, surrounded with Japanese cypress and paved with stones inside. Furthermore, the inn is designed to harmonize with the surrounding beautiful nature, evoking a pleasant and calm feeling throughout your stay. Of course, you will be able to savor fresh and lightly seasoned Kaiseki cuisine as you relax and unwind at Otozure.
This inn sports as much space as necessary; whether you’re traveling individually, or with an entire entourage, there’s more than enough space onsite for everyone to relax, and to make the inn their own. Constructed to exist flush with the lush natural wildlife which characterizes the immediate exterior of the property, this villa space proves equal parts rejuvenating and exhilarating, courtesy of winning amenities.
Breakfast is included with select room packages, allowing you the privilege of beginning every day the right way. If the public bath isn’t your speed, take advantage of the private bath you likely have right inside of your inn door; depending on the package you select, you’ll be treated either to a single or double-roomed suite, complete with individual beds, a private bathroom, and a well-lit, contemporary atmosphere. Some rooms even sport a Japanese-style futon bed!
With eighteen individualized rooms available onsite at this quaint, yet entirely modern, inn setting, there’s an escape perfect for your individual travel preferences and budget alike. Additionally, there’s the traditional Kaiseki cuisine to enjoy, as each dish is served one after another. Experience the selective flavoring and freshly served meals which typify every day at this inn! After a meal has reached its conclusion, you can relax at the Bar Otozure, a setting beset by counter seats and great conversation, where friends can share drinks whenever they choose.
Address: Fukawa Yumoto 2208
Lift Security alarm Shops (on site) 24-hour security Spa and wellness centre Concierge service Newspapers Valet parking
Located at just a convenient 2.5 hours’ train ride from Kyoto, Nishimuraya Honkan is a ryokan with 150 years of tradition. Featuring a large Japanese garden, traditional Japanese-style guest rooms and fine Japanese kaiseki cuisine, the hot spring water in the inn comes from the renowned Kinosaki Onsen that has 1,400 years of history. Travel back into Japan’s nostalgic past as you pass through the old gate of the inn.
Unwind with a refreshing soak in the comfort of your en-suite onsen surrounded by lush greenery. Or you can also check out the 3 types of public hot spring baths in the inn: the indoor bath “Kichino-yu” with an outdoor bath in bamboo grove; the Chinese-style “Fukuno-yu”; and the “Shouno-yu” with views of a large and bright garden. Tuck into top-notch “Tajima beef” on your dinner plate, alongside a variety of fresh seafood for a refined taste. You will also be able to enjoy the seasonal snow crab “Matsuba Crab” harvested from the Sea of Japan if you stay anytime between 7 November and 31 March. Complement these dishes with flavourful local Tajima sake for a divine meal.
An enchanting overnight onsen experience to remember
Instead of making a day trip to a hot spring resort to enjoy its facilities in a rush, why not check into a traditional Japanese hot spring inn for a truly relaxing experience? Prices may seem on the high side, but it is a worthwhile investment you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Imagine diving in for a soothing bath in your own tub on the balcony anytime you fancy. Furthermore, you get to taste exquisite and specially prepared local seasonal dishes after your calming soak. When you’re in Japan, be sure to check out these accommodations with private onsen in Kyoto and its surrounding areas. Enjoy one of the most enchanting experiences that will leave you with fond memories for a long time!
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