RYOKANS providing rooms with private open-air baths
March 10, 2017 update
Japanese hot springs, or onsens, are very nice – they can refresh you, make you feel relaxed, and are renowned for numerous medicinal properties. But many people outside Japan keep asking us “How can I enjoy onsen with my romantic partner of the opposite sex?” I’m just going to provide you with an excellent solution to that.
In countries outside Japan, you have to put on your swimsuit at most hot springs, so men and women can take the water together. On the other hand, almost all Japanese onsens request you to become naked, and have divided sections for male and female. Many people may feel lonesome being separated from their boyfriend/girlfriend at onsens, which are originally intended to make you happy. There are a few places adopting the swimsuit system, just like foreign hot springs, but those facilities, called “spa lands” in Japan, are much like theme parks and not for people who want to fully enjoy themselves at a traditional onsen. There are also some “mixed baths,” called “konyoku” in Japanese, where men and women bathe together, naked, but most people have strong feelings of resistance towards them because nudity of themselves and their partners will be exposed to the eyes of the opposite genders.
So the question is “How can I enjoy an authentic Japanese onsen leisurely with my boyfriend/girlfriend?” Our recommendation is a “couple onsen.” Many onsen ryokan in Japan have guest rooms with private onsens, or onsens outside guest rooms for you to charter. In both cases, your privacy will be fully protected. You do not need to care about others’ eyes, and can share sweet and lovely time only with your partner. In a quiet and elegant setting, you two can have a nice hot bath together.
Couple onsens are special spaces where the two of you would never be disturbed by other people. Private onsens in guest rooms, in particular, let you spend time with your sweetheart enjoying the hot spring all day long, without the need to go out the door. The experience is largely different from normal dates. Both of you will be, literally, in your own skin, and occupy a specific place together, so you can discover your partner’s new aspects through this “unusual” dating experience. At couple onsens, the lovers will become brand-new again, encounter each other once time, interact in no distance, and nurture a beautiful and sweet relationship together. In that sense, couple onsen is a wonderful and fantastic “other world” that solely belongs to you and your lover. In this special space, every casual conversation will become something dreamlike.
Couple onsens with good views allow you to enjoy the marvellous sceneries of ocean, mountains among many others. If the couple onsen is an open-air bath, the two of you can actually put yourselves in the middle of cherry blossoms, autumn leaves or white snow, and feel the magnificent four seasons and rich natural environment of Japan. No other dating experience can be more romantic than this.
Since Japanese onsens are also good for beauty and health, you and your partner can polish your shine in a hot spring, and become an even lovelier couple. The two of you will experience joys of travel like no other and make an unforgettable memory by entering into the spirit of couple onsens. At these special hot springs, new forms of love are born and couples make a new start. Each couple onsen is a fabulous and miraculous world in itself.
Please find out and reserve your favourite couple onsens at this website. Couple onsens are not only perfect for honeymoons and trips to celebrate memorial days, they will provide couples of all ages a magical experience at any time.
Tokyo – It is difficult to find a couple onsen in central (eastern) Tokyo, but there are many ryokans providing couple onsens in its suburbs like Hakone Onsen and Echigo Yuzawa Onsen, where you can access within two hours of train ride from eastern Tokyo. There is also a ryokan in western Tokyo where you can enjoy couple onsen (Tokyo Yugawara Manyo-no-Yu [JAPANICAN.com]) .
Osaka – You can find a number of ryokans in Osaka Onsen where couple onsens are available in the area within 30 minutes of travel from central Osaka.
Kyoto – There are many renowned hot spring resorts within 30 minutes of travel from the Kyoto Station, such as Arashiyama Onsen and Kameoka Yunohana Onsen, in which numerous ryokans provide couple onsens.
This article features couple onsens available to overnight ryokan guests.
*In Japan, day-use couple onsens are regulated by ordinances enacted by each local government. Some prefectures prohibit mixed bath of men and women who are not married to each other, and some only allow mixed bath of the same family.
Tokyo, in particular, imposes a complete ban on day-use couple onsen, so even married couples cannot bathe together.
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