Private Bath Onsen and Open-air Onsen

JTB Furo Jiman JTB Roten Furo
I could still remember vividly on my first visit to Japan umpteen years ago, I was being brought to an Onsen Ryokan somewhere in Hakone. It was in February the coldest month in the year. I could see Mt.Fuji with its snow cap from a far while dipping myself in an outdoor bath. It was quite an experience, "modesty was the size of my hand towel".

Getting naked, hot and wet with a bunch of total strangers is perhaps the most intimidating experience for some. Although most well established onsen ryokans do have "Kashikiri" (Private) bath or "Kazokuburo" (Family) bath apart from their common indoor and outdoor baths (gender separated), there are some that do not have them or you might not be able to get a chance to use it because it has been reserved or required to wait long queue.

You trip to Japan is not complete until you have experienced onsen. A solution for those who are not comfortable with using common bath is to reserve yourself a room with a nice outdoor private bath usually on the balcony of the room. Though some can be very expensive at around 700 dollars for twin sharing, should you look around a bit or take my recommendation you will find some good offers going at half the price.

Recommendation below is taken from the 風呂自慢の宿(Furo Jiman no Yado), where it complies various Onsen Ryokans with private bath in Ito, Hakone, Yamanashi, Shinshu, KitaKanto, Niigata and Tohoku region. There are 202 ryokans to choose from. My pick is the Tokinoyu Setsugetsuka, newly built in 2006. Special rate is going at JPY19,500 per person (min 2 person, on selected dates). Onsen recommendations

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