Sayanoyudokoro Onsen is a fantastic onsen on the outskirts of Tokyo. When my friend Sarah came to visit she wanted to be sure to visit one, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try a new place.
This is now probably my favorite in the Tokyo area. It was about a forty-five minute train ride, but totally worth the time. From the station it's less than a ten minute walk, and passes a pretty park with a lake. The price is very reasonable at 1,100 yen on weekends and 870 on weekdays for adults, with an additional 310 for towel rental. At check in you'll be given a wristband that your charges will be billed to - you can buy drinks from the vending machines, toiletries, etc. with it. And at the end there are machines that scan your wristband and allow you to pay.
They have the most outdoor baths of any onsen I've been to, with several individual ones (that always make me imagine I'm soaking in a sake jug), several larger baths, benches to only soak your feet, and a very shallow area where you lie on heated stone - SO relaxing. We were in heaven. Indoors there are several different tubs with jets to massage you shoulders/back/etc, an ice cold bath, and stone seats where you still with water streaming down your back.
They also have a wet and a dry sauna. The wet sauna entrance is outdoors, and wow was it steamy! When you enter there is a basket of salt, and you can scoop up a handful of to exfoliate your skin. Each seat has a little hose to rinse away the remaining salt when you're done. The dry sauna entrance is indoors, next to the ice bath.
One of the things I liked so much about this onsen was how much it felt like a part of the community. It was busy, but not overly crowded, with everyone from little girls (and a few young boys) to old women. And as I write this I realize that doesn't sound any different from any of the others I've ever been to - but it was. It felt like a well-loved, authentic part of the neighborhood.
If you're looking for an onsen around Tokyo I highly recommend this one! I couldn't take any pictures inside, but this website and tripadvisor have lots of good photos.
|The nearby park|
Spa EAS in Yokohama
Utsukushinoyu in Tokyo
Tokyu Hotel in Shimoda
Hours: 10:00 am -1:00 am
Location: 3-41-1 Maenocho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo