The Best Public Baths and Hot Springs (Onsen) in Nagoya

Bathing is a part of every culture, no matter what country we are from. 

Nowadays, because of our busy lives, many people prefer a quick shower to start the day. Which is as essential as the morning coffee.

Many others prefer to take a relaxing bath after a hard day. They don’t think twice about it. WE don’t think twice about it. 

Despite what some people may think about wasting water this way, it is a fact that we enjoy the ritual of bathing. And many countries around the world have their own particular bathing traditions and styles.

When coming to Japan, most people will tell you that your Japan trip will not be complete without going to a Japanese bath. Well, we can say that bathing in an Onsen (Japanese hot spring) or Sento (public bath) is a rare experience, but at the same time can be a bit challenging. 

If you continue reading, you will find out why. We will also introduce you to some of the most favored Sento and Onsen in Nagoya.

The Hot Spring Culture Has Been An Essential Part of Daily Life for Japanese People for a Long Long Time.

Japanese woman bathing in a open-air hot spring onsen in Nagoya
Enjoying a private bath

Taking a closer look at Japan’s bathing culture we realize that one of the main reasons for its popularity is the great number of natural hot springs that exist all across the country.

There is evidence in one of the oldest books of Japan called Kojiki, dating back to the 7th century, about people bathing in Onsen even back then.

Originally, Onsen were mostly outdoor facilities but today, you can also find them as a Sento (public bathhouse) or as hot spring facilities in many Ryokan (traditional Japanese-style inns) and hotels.

However, an Onsen is not just a regular bath – depending on the water’s mineral composition, a short bath in an Onsen has many health benefits such as remedying numerous aches and injuries, lowering high blood pressure, healing diseases, skin conditions, diabetes, and more. 

Another characteristic of the Japanese baths is the very hot water temperature. On average, the water temperature is between 38 and 43 degrees Celsius (98-100 Fahrenheit), but you can find baths with temperatures well over 48-50 degrees Celsius (118.4 – 122 Fahrenheit) as well.

Variety Is the Spice of Life.

The Japanese bathing facilities come in a variety of types, including outdoor and indoor baths. Let’s talk about the differences.

Onsen

Onsen (温泉)
Onsen

An Onsen is a natural hot spring, of volcanic or non-volcanic origin, that has a temperature of more than 25 degrees Celsius and also has mineral properties as mentioned above.

Sento

Sento (銭湯) Jizoyu Sento (Nagoya)
Jizoyu Sento (Nagoya). Image via aichisento

A Sento is a simple Japanese bathhouse that serves to fulfill the daily need for hygiene. Compared to an Onsen, the water at a Sento is often plain groundwater heated up for bathing.

Sento often offer multiple types of different baths, which are explained below, as well as a sauna. You can find Sento in both big cities and small towns, as well as in the rural areas.

Super Sento

Super Sento (スパー銭湯) Tenku Spa Hills Ryusenjinoyu Nagoya Moriyama
Tenku Spa Hills Ryusenjinoyu Nagoya Moriyama. Image via ryusenjinoyu.com

Like a public bath theme park, a Super Sento has a wide variety of facilities, such as themed baths, saunas, massage services, restaurants, and rest areas. 

Daiyokujo

Daiyokujo (大浴場)
Indoor Daiyokujo. Image via Mitsui Garden Hotels

This is the big bath facility of a hotel or Ryokan that may or may not be a natural hot spring. Split into use for male and female guests, with shower facilities and one or multiple hot pools.

Ashiyu

Ashiyu (足湯)
Relaxing the feet in an Ashiyu

An Ashiyu (foot bath) can be found on the streets, close to train stations and parks in some villages and towns where Onsen waters occur underground. Most of the foot baths are free of charge but for some, you are expected to pay a small fee.

Types of Bathes found at Bath Houses across Japan.

Below you will find the different bath types which can be found at some of the bathing facilities, both inside and outside. Each bath has its own special characteristics.

Rotenburo

Onsen (温泉)
Rotenburo, an open-air bath

An outdoor Onsen, where you can relax while being surrounded by Japanese nature and the most tranquil atmosphere. 

Another way to immerse yourself in Japanese nature is by visiting one of the parks and gardens in and around Nagoya.

Utase Buro

Utase Buro (うたせ風呂)
Utase Buro. Image via jptrp.com

The Utase Buro massages the head, shoulder, spine, and back with a high-pressure stream of hot water pummeling down. 

Mizu Buro

Mizu Buro (水風呂)
Mizu Buro. Image via aichisento

A cold water tub with a temperature around 17-20°C, the Mizu Buro is used after a stint in the sauna to cool down the body.

Denki Buro

Denki Buro (電気風呂)
Denki Buro. Image via aichisento

A Denki Buro is a small bathing tub equipped with steel plates that discharge pulsing currents of electricity into the submerged bather. This is said to have health benefits but can feel a little strange at first.

Kusuri Yu

Mikan Onsen
A mandarin Onsen in Tsubaki Onsen, Wakayama Prefecture. Images via Tsubaki Onsen website

A Kusuri Yu is a themed bath. Often plants or fruits are added to the water suiting the current season, such as whole Yuzu citrus fruit in winter. These baths therefore often contain medical (Kusuri) benefits.

Neburo

Neburo
A Neburo from Awara Onsen, Fukui Prefecture. Image via Awara Onsen website

Neburo translates literally to sleeping bath, but you are in no way meant to actually sleep in! It is a very shallow bath with a shape to comfortably lay in including a special rest for your head.

Kashikiri Buro

Kashikiri Buro (貸切風呂)
Spending time in a private bath or Kashikiri Buro

A Kashikiri Buro can come in different forms and sizes, as an indoor or outdoor bath. This is a hot spring bath you can reserve for private use at hotels and Ryokan. Especially great if you are shy, have tattoos, or want to experience a typical Japanese bath with your significant other or your family.

Onsen Also Come With a Lot of Rules That Can Make for a Challenging Experience.

You should know that Japan has rules for everything, and bathing in an Onsen or public bath is not an exception. If you follow these rules, we think you will fully enjoy the experience without any problem. 

NOTE: Unfortunately, people with tattoos are often strictly banned from Onsen and public baths (no matter the size of the tattoo). Tattoos are an image associated with the Japanese mafia (Yakuza). Even if you cover them with a sticker, some facilities will not allow you entry. So, before going, confirm with the facility that the entry is okay. You can read some tips for people with tattoos here.

Before Using the Onsen or Bath Facilities:

  1. Remove your shoes at the entrance – The first general rule when entering any Japanese-style house. 
  2. Pay the entry fee – It is common to find a vending machine, often next to the entrance, from which you can buy an entrance ticket. Sometimes, the vending machines are in Japanese, so feel free to ask the staff for some help. In case you need a towel or soap, there might be additional fees. Some places sell their own unique Onsen towels which make a nice souvenir!
  3. Enter your appropriate bath area – Once you have paid the fee(s) you will find two separate bath sections: one for men (often marked by a blue curtain and the symbol 男) and one for women (often marked by a red curtain and the symbol 女).
  4. Prepare to get naked – Most of the public baths have lockers available. Remove all clothing and accessories and put all of them in a locker or in a basket. Clothes, swimming suits, or large towels of any kind are not allowed in the bath area. Only keep your hand towel, hair tie, and toiletries with you. DO NOT use any mobile phone or video/photo camera inside the bath area. 

When Using the Onsen or Bath Facilities:

  1. Enter the wash area first – Almost all baths are divided into two sections: the wash section, equipped with showers, soap, and shampoo to clean your body and the relax section with one or more tubs to soak in. 
  2. Clean your body entirely – Choose a shower and take a seat in front of it. Clean yourself thoroughly from head to toe. Once finished, make sure that all the soap and shampoo have been rinsed away.
  3. Relax and enjoy – Now you can go ahead and enter the tub, but be careful, because the temperature can be quite hot. If you are a bit shy, you can use the small towel to cover your intimate parts when walking around but you can’t enter the water with it. If you are in a facility with many baths, feel free to try as many as you want.
    DON’T bathe for more than 10 minutes if it’s your first time or you may start to feel dizzy.
    DON’T dive, splash, or swim in the bath.
  4. Keep your head and hair out of the water – If you have long hair, try to keep it out of the water using a hair tie, and don’t put your head under the surface of the water.
  5. Keep quiet or talk with low voices – Don’t raise your voice when talking to your friends and family, so you don’t disturb the other guests.
    According to the latest COVID-19 rules it is discouraged to talk with others to avoid spreading the virus.

After Using the Onsen or Bath Facilities:

  1. Dry your body – It is recommended not to shower again after bathing in an Onsen, since rinsing your body will lower the effectiveness of the minerals on your skin. However, if you need a cold bath or shower before leaving the area feel free to do so. Then, make sure to dry your body off as best as possible using your small towel before you leave the bathing area. 
  2. Time to hit the lounge area – Once you are all dried and dressed, take advantage of the comfortable couches and massage chairs available at many facilities. 
  3. Avoid dehydration – take a drink from the vending machine (or fridge and pay at the front desk) and just chill out. “Hot spring = milk coffee” is a very common tradition among the Japanese. And, if you are in an Onsen facility or in a Super Sento with restaurants try the local delicacies or Japanese-style course meals.
Specialties of Nagoya food tour
Discover local food at our Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour!

Indeed, there are a lot of rules here but, when in doubt, just try to observe and imitate what others are doing. It works pretty well in most cases.

Must-Visit Sento, Super Sento, and Onsen in Nagoya.

When looking for a Sento or Onsen, they are usually marked with the Kanji character for hot water 湯 (Yu), the Hiragana character ゆ (Yu), or the symbol ♨. These are also used by many Japanese Ryokan and hotels on their maps and curtains marking the entrance to the bath area.

If you are looking for an Onsen, Super Sento, or a Sento in Nagoya there is a wide variety of options that you can try. Because of the area, you will find that Nagoya offers more Sento facilities than Onsen. Even so, these Sento have their own history and a lot of them are as traditional, local, and picturesque as many famous Onsen. Bathing in any of them regardless will be highly appreciated by both your body and mind.

The facilities below are the most popular places and also the most recommended by locals and foreigner residents.

Urban Quar Spa & Living

Urban Quar Spa & Living
Urban Quar Spa & Living. Image via waku-tabi-life.com

This is a natural hot spring that flows from 800m underground. It has a huge spa zone with 11 different types of baths all with “Nano-yu” water, a carbonated water that has health benefits. Also, there are free services such as coffee and massage chairs.

How about resting your feet and relaxing your body after completing the Street Food Walking Tour? Its end location is only 15 minutes away from this Onsen.

Street Food Walking Tour of Osu tour banner

Urban Quar Spa & Living (天然温泉アーバンクア – SPA&LIVING)
Entry Fee:   Weekday: adult 900 – 1,520 yen, child 300 yen. Weekend: adult 1,000 – 1,620 yen, child 300 yen. Fee for adults depends on the chosen course (additional entrance to certain facilities)
Opening Hours: Everyday 6:00 – 1:30, Friday opens at 9:00
Address: 16-17 Castle Town Kinenbashi 3F, Fujimicho, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0014
Access: Take the Meijo subway line to the Higashi-Betsuin station. From exit 1 it is 7 minutes on foot.
Phone: (+81) 052-324-0261
Tattoo friendly: No
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Tenku Spa Hills Ryusenjinoyu Nagoya Moriyama

Tenku Spa Hills Ryusenjinoyu Nagoya Moriyama
Tenku Spa Hills Ryusenjinoyu Nagoya Moriyama. Image via ryusenjinoyu.com

This Super Sento complex has many open-air bathing options with stunning views. Options here include, but are not limited to, a bubble bath, an open-air carbonated natural hot spring, a silk bath, an electric bath, and a whirlpool bath.

During weekends it can be very busy and crowded,  so if you are looking for a relaxing time try to go during the week when it is less crowded.

Tenku Spa Hills Ryusenjinoyu Nagoya Moriyama (スーパー銭湯&炭酸泉発祥の店 天空SPA HILLS 竜泉寺の湯)
Entry Fee:   Adult 700 yen (600 yen when entering between 6:00 – 9:00), child 300 yen
Opening Hours: Everyday 6:00 – 3:00
Address: 1-1501 Ryusenji, Moriyama Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 463-0801
Access: From the Ozone station or Nagoya-Dome-Mae-Yada-Station take the Yutori-to Line to the Ryusenji Stop. From there it is only a 3-minute walk. 
Phone: (+81) 052-661-9876
Tattoo friendly: No
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Canal Resort

Canal Resort
Canal Resort. Image via canalresort.jp

One of the most popular Super Sento in Nagoya. It is located about 15 minutes by shuttle bus from Kanayama Station. There is an outdoor area with TV and bath barrels for individuals. Food and drinks are available within the facility.

Canal Resort (キャナル・リゾート)
Entry Fee: Weekday: adult 700 yen, child 300 yen. Weekend: adult 800 yen, child 350 yen.
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 9:00 – 1:00, Friday 9:00 – 2:00, Saturday 8:00 – 2:00, Sunday and Holiday 8:00 – 1:00
Address: 4-1 Tamakawacho, Nakagawa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 454-0058
Access: Take the Meiko subway line to Rokubancho station. Take exit 3 and from there it is 19 minutes on foot.
It is also possible to take a bus from Nagoya station to Showa-Bashi. From there it is an 11-minute walk.
Phone: (+81) 052-661-9876
Tattoo friendly: No (even if covered with a sticker)
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Raku Spa Garden

Raku Spa Garden
Raku Spa Garden. Image via rakuspa.com

This is a really popular place among young locals. Raku Spa Garden is a big Super Sento complex that has a food court, a reading area and sofas everywhere. You can easily spend the whole day there.

Raku Spa Garden (RAKU SPA GARDEN 名古屋)
Entry Fee:  Weekday: adult 1,628 yen, child 660 yen. Weekend: adult 1,848 yen, child 770 yen.
Different fees for early mornings, late (night) entries and 90-minute course.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9:00 – 2:00; Friday and Saturday 9:00 – 8:00
Address: 1−65-2 Heiwagaoka, Meito Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 465-0097
Access: Take a bus from Nagoya station to Hikarigaoka bus stop. From there it is only a 4-minute walk.
Phone: (+81) 052-769-1126
Tattoo friendly: No
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Utopia Takara

Utopia Takara
Utopia Takara. Image via yu-t.com

This is the largest Super Sento of the Nagoya area. It is a big complex with a wide variety of themed baths, sauna, massage and relaxation facilities and also many restaurants.

If you feel that relaxing at this Super Sento is not enough then how about combining it with an Ikebana experience and a visit to Arimatsu town?

Ikebana Lesson and Arimatsu Town Visit experience banner

Utopia Takara (湯~とぴあ宝)
Entry Fee:   Weekday: adult 1,800 yen, child 600 yen. Weekend: adult 1,800 yen, child 600 yen.
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1-9 Maehamatori, Minami Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 457-0058
Access: Take the Tokaido line to Kasadera station. From the West exit it is a 7-minute walk.
Phone: (+81) 052-611-1126
Tattoo friendly: No
Website | Google Maps

Ozone Onsen Yunoshiro

Ozone Onsen Yunoshiro
Ozone Onsen Yunoshiro. Image via travel.mynavi.jp

Located about 18 minutes from Nagoya Station, this Super Sento has 6 types of outdoor baths and 6 types of indoor baths. All come with “Nano-yu” water with molecules that have a moisturizing effect, keep your body warm, and have great benefits for blood circulation.

Some of the outdoor baths are rock baths. You can also find other facilities such as a sauna, relaxation lounge, and massage room.

Ozone Onsen Yunoshiro (大曽根温泉 湯の城)
Entry Fee:   Weekday: adult 730 yen, child 300 yen. Weekend: adult 830 yen, child 350 yen.
Opening Hours: Everyday. Opens at 6:00 except for the third Thursday of the month it opens at 9:00. Closes at 1:00 from Sunday until Thursday and at 2:00 on Friday and Saturday.
Address: 28-7 Higashiozonecho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0022
Access: Take the Chuo line to Ozone station. From the South exit, it is an 8-minute walk.
Phone: (+81) 052-933-0261
Tattoo friendly: No
Website | Google Maps

Heiden Onsen

Heiden Onsen
Heiden Onsen. Image via sentozukai.jp

A local and traditional Sento that is very often used by runners and young people. There is a central bath in the middle of the bathing area and 2 baths at the back that overlook the garden.

It has a jet massage bath, an aromatic bath, an ultrasonic bubbles bath, a cold and electric bath as well as a sauna.

Heiden Onsen (平田温泉)
Entry Fee:   Adult 420 yen, child 150 yen; sauna additional 100 yen.
Opening Hours: Everyday 15:00 – 22:45 (last entry 22:00); closed on Tuesdays.
Address: 38 Aioicho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0012
Access: Take the Sakuradori subway line to Takaoka station. From Exit 2 it is another 15 minutes by foot.
You can also take a bus to the Hiratamachi bus stop which arrives in front of the Sento.
Phone: (+81) 052-931-4009
Tattoo friendly: Yes
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Hakusan Onsen

Hakusan Onsen
Hakusan Onsen. Image via dokodemosento

This Sento is located 12 minutes by Meitetsu train line from Nagoya Station in a quiet and residential area. It has 8 types of baths including a central oval shape bath with a nice view of the mural art and an open-air bath with medicinal properties that change everyday. It also has a jet massage bath,  a cold and electric bath, a sauna and a steam sauna. During winter you can enjoy the Yuzu bath (a citrus fruit) or a natural Cypress bath.

Hakusan Onsen (白山温泉)
Entry Fee:   Adult 440 yen, child 150 yen; sauna additional 100 yen.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 15:00 – 24:00, except Wednesday when it is closed, and Sunday between  8:00 – 12:00 and 15:00 – 24:00
Address: 1-2-20 Biwajima, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 451-0053
Access: Take the Meitetsu train line to Higashi-Biwajima station. From there it is a short 4-minute walk.
Phone: (+81) 052-531-4753
Tattoo friendly: Yes
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Suminoyu Hotel

Suminoyu Hotel
Suminoyu Hotel. Image via booking.com

Located about 6 minutes walk from Nagoya Station, Suminoyu Hotel has a Sento facility with charcoal outdoor and indoor baths, a cypress bath, a jet massage bath, an electric bath and a sauna.

The unique characteristic of this Sento is its high-quality charcoal hot water containing alkaline properties and good benefits for the body.

Suminoyu Hotel (炭の湯ホテル)
Entry Fee:   Adult 440 yen, child 150 yen.
Opening Hours: Everyday between 6:30 – 9:30 and 16:00 – 23:00
Address: 2-11-8 Kamejima, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 453-0013
Access: This hotel is only 6 minutes by foot from the Nagoya station.
Phone: (+81) 052-462-8311
Tattoo friendly: No
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Don’t Forget to Check these Spas and Onsen Near Nagoya.

Less than an hour’s ride from Nagoya, there are a few hot spa areas worth visiting.

Fu no Yu

Fu no Yu
Fu no Yu. Image via centrair.jp

This is the first Onsen in Japan with a view of an airplane runway. Not only can you observe how the planes take off and land from a close distance while you are submerged in the bath, but you can also see Ise Bay.

Fu no Yu offers a free Baggage Service, where you can leave your luggage and are able to relax without any worries. This also allows you to explore many other cool places in the airport.

Fu no Yu (風の湯)
Entry Fee:   Adult 1,050 yen, child 650 yen, under 6 years old 210 yen
Opening Hours: Everyday 8:00 – 22:00 (last entry 21:00), except the third Wednesday of the month it closes at 18:00 (last entry 17:00)
Address: 1-1 Centrair, Tokoname, Aichi 479-0881
Access: This Onsen can be found at Terminal 1.
Phone: (+81) 0569-38-7070
Tattoo friendly: No, unless it is covered up with a sticker (which are sold at the front desk)
Website | Google Maps

Kakitsubata Spa

Kakitsubata Spa
Kakitsubata Spa. Image via kakitsubata-spa

This is another true spa oasis with many natural hot springs and outdoor stone baths. It also has a Korean-style “bedrock” bath, yoga, and restaurant facilities.

Kakitsubata Spa (天然温泉かきつばた)
Entry Fee:   Adult 890 yen, child 440 yen
Opening Hours: Weekday 9:00 – 23:00, Weekend and Holiday 7:00 – 23:00; closed every 15th of the month
Address: Yoshino-55 Kariya Highway Oasis, Higashizakaicho, Kariya, Aichi 448-0007
Access: Take the Tokaido line to Kariya station and walk to the Kariya station kitaguchi bus stop. From there take the bus to Kariya Highway Oasis. The bus arrives next to the spa.
Phone: (+81) 0566-35-5678
Tattoo friendly: No (even if covered with a sticker)
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

NOTE: Regarding the tattoo-friendly information, the Onsen and Sento introduced in this article have been verified. But if you want to be 100 percent sure, please contact the individual facility to confirm.

This post has last been updated in April 2021
Although we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, please note that changes may occur nonetheless. We recommend you confirm any relevant information such as event cancelations or changes, opening hours, or possible restrictions using a direct source. Please keep in mind that these sources might be in Japanese only.


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Web and Graphic designer living in Aichi Prefecture for more than 10 years. Trying to do the things that she loves and living the life with passion. She is also a travel-food lover and dance lover: her great passion.