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湯 (ゆ/yu) means hot water in Japanese. Bathing in natural hot springs is done throughout the world wherever the geothermal situation has allowed springs to develop. Japan is fortunate to have springs located across the nation and a culture of bathing has grown up around them from the beginning of history.

In Japan bathing is a national pastime and an attraction for tourists from around the world. Bathers have a choice from remote springs in the mountains to grand hotels. This site focuses primarily on the area around Osaka. Information on local sento (銭湯) bathhouses, the larger more commercial supersento (スーパー銭湯), and other less classifiable hot springs. Some of these locations just use the municipal water, some augment their water with radon gas or water softeners (軟水), lastly some have wells or springs that fill tubs with groundwater.

I began going to hot springs while at university in the United States and found it the best therapy for my upper back pain. Since moving to Japan I have also found bathing as a great stress reliever and a great way to explore the country.

Site Updates

February 7, 2021

New Reviews Added

  • Yu no Hana in Takatsuki has a great steam sauna.

  • Shinfutaba Onsen and Shimada Onsen both in Toyonaka are added, the first one is a pleasant, somewhat hidden sento across the river from Mikuni station. The second has one of the most interesting designs I have seen but sadly most of it is broken.

  • ShinIzumi Onsen in Suita has a fish tank! Awesome.

  • Two places in Mie. Suzuka Satsuki Onsen is a day use hot spring in Suzuka run by the JA. Great spring water there. Sumiyoshi-yu is a sento on the outskirts of the nightlife area of Yokkaichi with a nice super hot bath.

  • Safuran-yu in Tsuruga is a classic ofuro-yu in this lovely city on the Japan Sea coast.

  • Senninburo is a giant spring water pool in the middle of the river. Amazing experience.

Changes and Closures

  • Hinode Onsen which was easy to access from Shin-Osaka closed in summer last year. Bummer.

  • Shikimatsuri in the hills above Kishiwada totally reformed their baths, but I would think twice before taking the trip.

Total Reviews Online: 574