Onsen or hot spring is one of Japan’s greatest wonder! It doesn’t need any introduction as it is generally known among tourists as a source of healthy minerals and a form of relaxation. As you all know, women and men are strictly prohibited to bathe in the same hot spring bath. But, in some rural areas in Japan, they do allow women and men to soak in the same hot spring bath, with a few limitations of course. If you and your partner would like to dip in the same onsen bath, check out our list of mixed-gender onsen (konyoku) in the Kanto region.
One of the popular hot spring baths in Japan is none other than Takaragawa Onsen, Gunma. Its rotenburo (open-air bath) is among the largest rotenburo in Japan, plus, it is located along the streams of Tone River. In total, Takaragawa provides five main baths whereas the three of them are for mixed-gender, one is for women only and the other one is an indoor bath, segregated according to genders.
Image Source: Japan Travel Guide -JW Web Magazine.
Starting in April 2019, Takaragawa Onsen decided to add a new rule for mixed-gender baths. All guest needs to wear towels to cover up their body instead of going fully unclothed before entering the baths. Towel rentals fee isn’t included in the admission fee. On a side note, for the hot spring benefits, the water is able to treat neuralgia, muscle pain and more since they don’t add any extra chemicals.
Takaragawa Onsen is also a ryokan (traditional hotel), so you can easily spend a night in one of their rooms or you can just come here for the onsen. They open the onsen for 24 hours for ryokan’s guests and 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM for the day trip visitors.
Woman wearing a brown dress inside the bath. Image Source: Two Traveling Consultants.
Address: 899 Fujiwara, Minakami Town, Tone-gun, Gunma Prefecture
Operating Hours: 9:00AM-5:00PM (Day Trip visitors)
Admission Fee (for Day Trip): ¥2,000 (Adults), ¥1,500 (Children)
Contact Number: 0278-75-2614
Access: Free shuttle bus from Jomokogen Station and Minakami Station to take you to Takaragawa Onsen
Also situated in Gunma, Kojokaku is strategically located facing Lake Akaya. The hotel features eight open-air baths. Six of them are mixed-gender baths, meanwhile, the other two are separated into men and women, respectively. Their popular bath is the ‘Barrel Bath’ because it is shaped like a huge barrel and it can fit up to five to six people at one time.
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The water helps to heal asthma, obesity, stress, rheumatism and more. For women, if you would like to soak in the open-air bath without the presence of men, you have to wait until around 8; 00 PM – 9:00 PM. This is the only time where men aren’t allowed to bathe together with women. The hotel also provides a private open air-bath, just in case you needed privacy. There is, however, an indoor bath overlooking the view of Lake Akaya which is much more spacious than the open-air baths. Since this is a ryokan, you can also spend a night here to immerse in the Minakami’s nature.
Image Source: Booking.com.
Address: 121 Sarugakyo, Minakami-Machi Tone-gun, Gunma 379-1403, Japan
Operating Hours: 11:00AM-8: 00PM
Admission Fee: ¥1,000 (Adults), ¥500 (Children)
Contact Number: 0278-66-1021
Access: From Jomo-Kogen Station, take the Sarugakyo bus to Sekishoato Bus Station
Surrounded by nothing but trees and Hokigawa River, Yumori Tanakaya can be reached through Nikko National Park. To get there, you need to go down over 300 steps and you will see an old Japanese ryokan resided right beside the river. Senkyoyu is the largest open-air bath in the ryokan. Together with Kawarayu and Ishimayu, these three baths offer the best bathing experience while enjoying the view of the river.
Senkyoyu. Image Source: Trip 101.
All open-air baths are mixed-gender and women are permitted to bathe in towels. If they don’t feel comfortable bathing with men, there is a women-only bath, covered with stoned-roof for extra privacy. Day trip visitors can use any of the bath facilities if the baths are not occupied by ryokan’s guests as the staffs will prioritize them first.
Bijin-no-Yu for a women-only bath. Image Source: Trip Advisor.
For day-trip guests, you may enter either of these two indoor baths called, ‘Tenbo’ and ‘Neyu’ where the water temperature is fairly warm. The water source is said to be very helpful to heal minor wounds and skin complexion. It helps to hydrate, moisturize as well as soften the skin. You can even drink the water provided by the water fountain as it is good for your stomach.
Address: 6 Shiobara, Nasushiobara 329-2921, Tochigi Prefecture
Operating Hours (for Day Trip guests): 11:00AM-3:00PM
Admission Fee: ¥ 1,000 (Adults aged 12 and above), ¥600 (Children aged 6 and above), ¥400 (Children aged 3 and above)
Contact Number: 0287-32-3232
Closest Train Station: Nasushiobara Station
Motomachi Hama Hot Spring
The one and only mixed-gender onsen in Izu-Oshima Island, Motomachi Hama-no-Yu is everyone’s favourite place to bathe in.
Image Source: Go to Tokyo.
What makes it even more popular is due to the fact that it has a stunning view of Izu-Oshima. Facing clear sea water and Mount Mihara, it is no surprise why people prefer Hama-no-Yu than other onsens in the area. This facility has only one onsen and it is the mixed-gender onsen. Since this is a family place, every visitor needs to wear a bathing suit to avoid unwanted incidents. If you didn’t bring your own bathing suits, you can rent it at the facility.
Image Source: Life Where I’m From.
Lastly, Hama-no-Yu is merely an onsen facility centre and it doesn’t provide any accommodation for its guests.
Motomachi Hama Hot Spring
Address: Tonchibata-882 Motomachi, Oshima, Tokyo 100-0101, Japan
Operating Hours: 1:00PM-7:00PM
Admission Fee: ¥300 (Adults), ¥150 (Children)
Contact Number: (+81)4992-2-2870
Access: Take a ferry from Takeshiba Port in Tokyo to Izu Oshima Island. Then, walk to Hama-no-Yu for 3 minutes from Motomachi Port