One thing you need to know about Japan is that their hot spring culture is thriving; however, if you visit Japan, you will need to keep your eyes peeled for ‘onsens,’ which is what they are locally known as.
Unlike some parts of the world where hot springs are few and far between, Japan has over 27,000 onsens dotted across the country, so you will never miss an opportunity to take a soak.
A visit to an onsen is ingrained in the local Japanese culture and holds significant importance within the country, with many traditions still at play. Even today, men and women are separated when visiting an onsen, tattoos are often forbidden, and visitors are obliged to enter the onsen without clothes.
Luckily, there are plenty of options in Japan, including many private onsens, many of which are within beautiful hotels and accommodations, where these rules do not apply.
If you are planning a trip to Japan, the UNESCO city of Kyoto will be high on your list since it has an abundance of fascinating attractions to discover, and you will be happy to know that there are lots of Kyoto hotels with hot springs to make your stay extra special.
Since hot spring hotels are entirely the norm, we know choosing one that ticks the boxes can be overwhelming, so we have compiled a list to narrow it down.
Let’s dive into the best Kyoto hotels with hot springs you need to know about.
List of the Best Kyoto Hotels With Hot Springs
An award-winning hot spring hotel
One of the best Kyoto hotels with hot springs is the prestigious 5-star Hotel, the Mitsui Kyoto. With an abundance of excellent features, a central location close to many top attractions, and top-class luxury, this Hotel ticks all the boxes for visitors to the city.
Located just 8 minutes walk from Kyoto International Manga Museum, 600m (1968.5 ft) from the city center, and 10 minutes from the famous Nijo Castle, The Mitsui is an excellent place for luxury, comfort, and exploring the area.
Regarding facilities, guests will have access to a world-class thermal spring spa, which uses natural spring water from the Hotel’s onsite source and is the place for ultimate relaxation.
Not only is the spa an incredible place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the benefits of thermal waters but this award-winning spa was awarded four stars in Forbes Travel Guide 2023.
If the idea of soaking in natural onsens sounds fabulous, let us show you what the Hotel offers guests.
With a fitness center, private parking, exquisite restaurant and bar facilities, and luxurious rooms and suites, there is something for everyone at Hotel Mitsui.
Prices start from $1,061 per night.
A stunning riverside hot spring hotel
This luxury 5-star hotel in Kyoto is ideally situated alongside the quaint Katsura River, in the Arashiyama Hills, and is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city.
Featuring 39 rooms, modern amenities, and traditional touches, this Hotel prides itself on providing guests with an authentic Japanese experience, and with that comes the opportunity to experience a Japanese onsen.
One of the top features of this Hotel is that 17 out of 39 rooms offer a private in-suite onsen, which allows you to soak in natural thermal waters in privacy whenever you please.
A private spa room is also available for guests who want a more oversized open-air bath. If you seek an incredible experience, we advise you to reserve a hotel suite or room with a natural hot spring bath.
The Hotel offers spa treatments in their spa or your room, including massage, jade stone facial treatments, and green tea scrubs, and their indigenous menu is inspired by Japanese culture.
In addition, the Hotel features a Japanese garden, a gift shop, excellent Japanese French fusion dining, and a cozy café. The Hotel is just a 3-minute walk from Tenryuji Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prices start from $957 per night.
Featuring a rooftop onsen with panoramic views
One of the best Kyoto hotels with hot springs is Sora Niwa Terrace, a stunning place to choose for your stay in this UNESCO City. The Hotel has incredible panoramic views over the Kamogowa River and boasts its open-air rooftop bath, which is guaranteed to be a memorable experience.
The rooftop open-air hot spring, which comes directly from an onsite source, is undoubtedly one of the main attractions when staying at Sora Niwa. Still, the Hotel has plenty of other excellent offerings that guests will love.
From a wide range of beautifully decorated and spacious rooms to choose from to the Sora Niwa terrace, which is the place to soak up unparalleled views, this Hotel does not skip a beat when it comes to impressing guests.
With a rooftop bar, hot spring foot baths, and a hot spring bath deep enough to stand up in, guests can expect a memorable experience and more.
In addition, guests can enjoy silky jacuzzi baths, which are said to leave you with silky smooth, moisturized skin, a popular choice for women.
Prices start at $257 per night.
For an authentic Japanese healing experience
The Westin is a hotel name known across the globe for their excellent service, quality, and high standards, and their Kyoto branch is no exception.
This resort-style Hotel has all the mode cons you can think of, from a fitness center and onsite spa to an indoor pool and excellent dining options, but one feature that stands out from other hotels worldwide is the onsite Japanese onsen.
Located in the traditional district of Kyoto, just a 3-minute walk from Keague subway station, The Westin Kyoto is an ideal place to base yourself for exploring the city, and there are many UNESCO sites within walking distance.
Their onsite natural hot spring ‘Kyoto Keague Onsen’ flows from the spring beneath the Hotel and allows guests to immerse themselves in therapeutic waters both indoors and semi-open outdoors.
In addition to the medical properties of the onsens, guests can avail of spa treatments, which include a wide range of traditional healing therapies like acupressure, Japanese massage, and moxibustion.
A stay at The Westin Kyoto is a must for a luxurious experience, top-class facilities, a great central location, and the chance to immerse yourself in Japanese healing traditions.
Prices start at $283 per night.
A great value hot spring hotel in Kyoto
Located just a three-minute walk from Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Station, Dorm Inn is an excellent choice for those planning to explore all the fantastic UNESCO attractions within Kyoto.
The Hotel has a range of superb facilities guests can enjoy, like a sauna, massage treatments, large natural hot springs, and an onsite restaurant.
Guests can relax in the top-floor indoor and semi-outdoor hot tubs, including hot and cold options, which, used alternately, are said to have incredible benefits for the body and mind.
With spacious rooms, modern amenities, and an excellent daily breakfast to set you up for the day, it’s no wonder that this Kyoto hot spring hotel is quickly becoming a popular favorite with visitors to the city.
In addition, the Hotel offers free late-night ramen, free slippers, and robes and is great value for money in the heart of Kyoto. Some of the most famous nearby sites are just a stroll away, including the Higashi Hongan-ji Temple and the Shosei-en Garden, within a 5-minute walk.
For an authentic onsen experience
This beautiful and traditional Japanese Hotel is located close to many of Kyoto’s attractions, including 19 minutes from Arashiama Bamboo Grove, 2.8 miles from Katura Imperial Villa, and 2.3 miles from Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, making it an excellent place to stay for relaxation and exploring the area. Guests can enjoy various wellness facilities within the Hotel, including a hot spring bath, sauna, and beautiful gardens.
For a fantastic onsen experience, guests will not be disappointed by this Kyoto hot spring hotel’s offerings, spa treatments, and access to a large thermal bathhouse and five private bathhouses.
Three of the private bathhouses have open-air baths, which allow you to immerse yourself in the surrounding nature, and you enjoy all of the benefits from the indoor baths, which are natural springs.
The large bathhouse, called the Arishiyama Onsen, is an indoor stone bath open to both men and women and is excellent for muscle pain, neuralgia, and joint, among other ailments.
In addition to the superb onsen facilities, guests can enjoy the other amenities at the Hotel, like delicious seasonal dishes, a gift shop, a library, gardens, and plenty of quiet spaces to relax and unwind.
Prices start from $467 per night.
‘A business hotel with excellent onsen facilities’
This popular business hotel in Kyoto has some excellent facilities, a prime location, and its own onsen for guests to immerse themselves in during their stay.
This 4-star Hotel has a spa and wellness center for all your relaxation needs, a sauna, soundproof rooms, a restaurant, and a hot spring bath to make your stay memorable.
Located close to Kyoto Station, Sanjusangen-do Temple, and Kyoto Shigaku Kaikan Conference Hall, this is a prime business hotel in the center of Kyoto, just 27 miles from the airport. Offering Japanese and Western-style food buffets and free ‘Yonaki Soba’ every evening, guests will enjoy delicious cuisine while staying at the Hotel.
Regarding the onsite thermal bath, the Hotel features onsens for men and women, with changing rooms and a steam sauna, as well as a range of baths like a meditation bath, silky bath, rock bath, and cold-water bath. It is worth noting that guests with tattoos cannot bathe publicly.
Prices start from $243 per night
Hotels with Hot Springs in Kyoto: FAQs
What is an onsen?
An onsen is a Japanese hot spring, of which over 27,000 of them nationwide. The onsens are often separated between men’s and women’s areas, have changing rooms and showers, and are the best places for relaxation, immersing yourself in an authentic Japanese experience and availing of fantastic medicinal benefits just like the locals.
Many hotels and Inns in Japan have onsite onsens, both public baths and private areas for guests to enjoy, since this is a big part of the local culture.
Where can onsens be found in Japan?
Onsens are located across the country, but the ‘onsen capital’ of Japan is Beppu, a city and spa resort in Kyushu. Beppu has over 2,000 onsens and is a fantastic place to stay if you want to immerse yourself in this authentic Japanese tradition, where you can visit many different facilities.
Since Japan is a volcanic country, onsens can be found almost everywhere, but the Oita prefecture is the best place to start, followed by Gunma, Hokkaido, and Kanagawa.
What is Kyoto famous for?
Kyoto has an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit. In fact, it has 17 of them, which makes Kyoto one of the only cities worldwide to have this many UNESCO sites. Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and it is an unmissable destination for learning about Japanese culture, history, architecture, and traditions.
By staying at one of the top Kyoto hotels with hot springs, you can add to this cultural experience by immersing yourself in a therapeutic onsen, just as the locals do.
Why should I choose a hot spring hotel in Kyoto?
Many hotels in Kyoto feature their onsite onsen, so why not choose this option? The onsen culture is a massive part of Japanese people’s lives, and by staying at a hot spring hotel, you can glimpse this incredible tradition while availing of all the medicinal benefits these thermal baths offer.
Soaking in an onsen is a fantastic way to relax and unwind after traveling or after a long day of exploring, so we believe this is a great option when staying in Kyoto.