The best rotenburo in winter 冬の露天風呂

The outdoor baths in a snowy landscape

What's better than soaking in a hot bath after a day of sightseeing and exploring? Onsens are hot springs water from thermal springs of volcanic origin. When it's outdoors, they are called "rotenburo". Japan Experience offers a selection of the best rotenburo to experience in winter to appreciate the ancestral tradition in the heart of nature!

A snow festival has been held since 1980, welcoming 40,000 visitors each year.

Igloos, a chapel, an ice bar, and what interests us, a rotenburo, as well as an ashiyu, just to soak your feet. Immersed in warm water, all around you icy snow on the lake. Even the locker room is built of ice. The difference between air and water is 60°.

Accessible from the end of January to the end of March, open from 6:30 am to 10 pm, mixed bath (6 pm to 8 pm for men, 8 pm to 10 pm. for women

Shikaribetsu Lake

Shikaribetsu Lake

Shikaribetsuko nature center

Le lac de Shikaribetsu

Lake Shikaribetsu

Wikimedia Commons

Shikaribetsu Kotan

Shikaribetsu Kotan


Nishiyugawa Onsen

Located in Nikko National Park, in Tochigi, it is the closest to Tokyo. On the banks of the Nishiyugawa River, this onsen is historic because the warlord of the Taira clan would have come to treat his wounds after the battle of Dan-no-ura, in the Seto Inland Sea.

Several ryokans have rotenburos directly on the banks of the river, which is very snow-covered throughout the winter. From the end of January to mid-March, the Kamakura festival offers charming igloos to hide in or curl up within the nightly illuminations.

Nishiyugawa onsen

Nishiyugawa onsen, igloos


The bath is mixed but the entrances are different for each sex and bathing dresses are available for these ladies.

These cloudy white waters have a temperature of 38°, therefore rather lukewarm "nurui", ideal for those who do not tolerate the usual high heat well. You can stay in it for half an hour without risk, so much so that sleep is watching you. Luckily the winter cold keeps you awake.

There is a saying that if you spend three days at Shirahone Onsen, you won't be sick for three years!

Onsen sous la neige à Shirahone

Onsen under the snow in Shirahone

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