Welcome to Onsen Express on the New Laughing Squid Cloud Server
Home How to Onsen Ryokan Basics Café Contribute! Travel Desk
On a Budget

Many to choose from, huh?

Remembering the warm water
My body is feeling the cold
-Basho, at Yamanaka Onsen

Japan's reputation for being a pricey destination is well-deserved, but in recent years, traveler's have discovered that even in Japan, deals can be found.

And so it is with onsen as well.

Here's a list of ryokan (with onsen attached) that offer lodging, access to hot springs, and meals for under Y7,000.

One tip: Remember that ryokan built around a hot springs (Japanese call these nsen ryokan are usually a bit pricier that just pure accommodations.

Here are a few additional tricks to having a great ryokan experience without spending a fortune. For example, quite a few inexpensive onsen ryokan are available if you are willing to move off the beaten path by spending an extra hour or two on a train or bus. These ryokan onsen are usually nicer to be in anyway -- located in a natural setting, quiet, and surrounded by elements of traditional old Japan.

Another way to stick to a budget is to stay in small and simple ryokan or hotels and go on day visits to the fancier (and more expensive) onsen ryokan nearby.

Also, consider staying at an onsen ryokan but pass on meals. Not every ryokan allows you to skip meals, but some do. This can save you between Y3,000 and Y5,000 off the regular full price.

Another trick is to stay at a simple ryokan or hotel in a hot springs neighborhood and visit several public onsens. Japanese call this nsen round (or "making the onsen rounds").

On a Budget Onsen

The opportunity to stay in a family run, traditional inn (called minshuku) makes this onsen area a standout for budget-mined travelers.

Thirteen springs are scattered around this large property of some 12.5 acres. The idea at Hirayu-no-mori is to walk around the grounds naked (under your yukata, of course) and dip into one hot spring after another as you walk along forest paths.

Tsuruya Ryokan

This onsen has 12 different baths, all located in a forest setting close to a river. And because the ryokan is run by a pharmacist, two of the baths are prepared with special herb mixtures that change daily.

Maguse Onsen
Maguse onsen is located in a public park in the Northern Japan Alps. Because the onsen is publicly owned (created by the local municipality to attract visitors), it is a very simple and inexpensive onsen.

Kita Onsen
The ryokan is located the foot of Mt. Asahidake and is the only accommodation nearby. The ryokan's wooden structure and terra cotta roof create a feeling of being in old Japan. Large, long-nosed goblins, called Tengu, are displayed in one of the indoor baths.

Magoroku Onsen

Yachi Onsen

The Shimonobe onsen dates back to the ninth century, but its most famous guest was a well-known shogun, Takeda Shingen (1493-1573) who visitied the onsen in the 16th century.

Minshuku Sakino-ya

Sukayu Onsen Ryokan

What unique about this ryokan is the water -- which is reknowned for its ability to help couples conceive. The water's radium content is among the highest in any Japanese onsen.

Goshougake Onsen

Copyright 2002-2003 Onsen Express - All Rights Reserved