Two Enchanting Onsens with Character in Central Japan

While Onsens in general are not at all a rarity in Japan, some types of Onsen are indeed quite rare. With its unique sparkiling water, Hida-Osaka Onsen in Gero City, Gifu Prefecture is one of such standouts. The spring water here has such a high concentration of carbon dioxide, it keeps bubbling even in the tub. When you soak yourself in this Onsen, numerous tiny bubbles form all over your body, causing a gentle tingling sensation. The water also contains natural bicarbonate soda, which has a skin cleansing effect.

Less is more. Another spot with character is Umegashima Onsen in Shizuoka City, which is a far cry from bog-standard Onsen towns in Japan filled with banal tourist traps. Umegashima has none of those. As a matter of fact, it has no convenience stores either. Just twelve hotels and B&Bs line the road that runs along a river, and that’s it. It takes two hours by bus to reach here from Shizuoka Shinkansen Station. The quiet town is void of distractions that would hinder you from immersing yourself in the gifts of nature. From relaxing in a good hot bath and trekking in the mountain to explore hidden waterfalls to enjoying traditional Japanese cooking prepared with local produce, every experience here is genuine and soothing. An excellent spring quality that is said to have 1700 years of history. It constantly has the highest reputation among Onsen enthusiasts.

Hida-Osaka Onsen

Carbonated Onsen in Hida-Osaka (Himeshaga-no-Yu) (Japanese Language)

Umegashima Onsen

Rural onsen village with just twelve hotels and B&Bs (Japanese Language)

Travel Tips

The Shinkansen is a simpler and smarter way to travel between Tokyo and the Central Japan area. It only takes one hour and half to reach Nagoya from Tokyo by the bullet train, without the hassle of a security check, while enjoying a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji from a seat on the right-hand side of the car. JR-Central offers a free app to book and manage your Shinkansen ticket, handy for securing the best seat.

Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen Reservation App

  • A must-have free App for leisure and business travelers to Japan!
  • This App allows you to enjoy your travels on the “Golden Route” connecting Tokyo,

Mt. Fuji, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata and more!

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