Yugawara—the Perfect Onsen Day Trip
A relaxing onsen less than two hours from Tokyo
Visiting an onsen is the ideal pick-me-up for the stress of daily life, but sometimes choosing a destination, making reservations, and all the rest of it can be stressful in itself. But never fear—there are plenty of onsens that are a reasonable day trip from urban centers.
Yugawara, in Kanagawa prefecture, is one example. Just an hour and a half by train from Tokyo, it offers beautiful scenery surrounded by mountains and sea, plus skin-friendly low-sodium, low-alkali spring water. We visited the Ryokan Tokyo, an onsen that opened in Yugawara just last year, to see what it was like.
Combining Japanese aesthetics, including a torii-like entrance, with modern comfort, the Ryokan Tokyo is rapidly becoming popular among visitors from overseas. Its flexible system plays a large role in this. Naturally, you can enjoy the full experience, staying the night with meal included. But you can also buy a ticket just for the night, with no meal, or even access to the onsen during the day with no stay at all. Towels and yukata (or other clothing for wearing on the premises) can be rented there, so if you’re only making a day trip, you don’t need to bring anything at all.
Photo (above): Yugawara is known for its low-alkali, low-sodium onsen water. The Ryokan Tokyo boasts a gensen kakenagashi onsen, in which the water comes directly from the source in a constant stream.
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