10 Luxurious Hotels and Ryokan Inns with Private Open-Air Baths in Oita Prefecture

In Japan, natural onsen hot springs gushing from deep underground have long been cherished for their healing properties and as a means of connecting with others. Oita Prefecture is widely regarded as one of the top onsen destinations in Japan, boasting an array of inns with all sorts of hot springs. Whether nestled in the mountains or situated by the seaside, visitors can indulge in the diverse hot spring culture of Japan in Oita. In this article, we’ll present the 10 most luxurious hotels and ryokan traditional Japanese-style inns in the prefecture, each featuring rooms with open-air baths where you can make the memories of a lifetime!

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Explore the Natural Hot Springs of Oita Prefecture

Oita boasts several well-known hot spring resorts that attract countless visitors each year, such as Beppu, situated by the sea, and Yufuin, which is surrounded by mountains. The prefecture is also home to remote hot spring retreats hidden deep in the mountainside, including Kokonoe, located near the active volcano Mt. Aso, and Hita, which borders Fukuoka Prefecture.

10 Luxurious Hotels and Ryokan Inns with Private Open-Air Baths in Oita Prefecture

1. Sanso Tensui

Nestled in the lush forests of Hita City, Sanso Tensui is a serene 19-room inn that offers a luxurious getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The highlight of this retreat is undoubtedly the open-air bath where guests can soak in soothing hot spring waters while listening to the gentle sounds of a nearby river.

With a variety of bathing options to choose from, guests are spoiled for choice at Sanso Tensui. The inn features three large communal baths, including an open-air one that overlooks a stunning waterfall and a scenic bath on the shores of a mountain stream. In addition, the facility offers five types of unique baths that guests can rent out for a truly private bathing experience.

For a taste of ultimate luxury, guests can also book rooms with their own private open-air baths or opt for the special suites that offer magnificent waterfall views from their private terraces as well as indoor or semi-open-air baths, allowing guests to unwind and enjoy the breathtaking seasonal scenery. Guests who love taking photos should go with the Japanese-style room with open-air bath type B, which is well known for its elegant design and even features a charming traditional Japanese hearth.

The dining experience at Sanso Tensui is nothing short of remarkable. Using locally sourced ingredients, the chef crafts seasonal dishes that showcase the region's renowned Oita beef while preserving the natural flavors of the ingredients. Guests can also savor the homemade tofu and onion dressing during the buffet-style Japanese breakfast.

2. Yufuin Onsen Hinoharu Ryokan

Situated near the Yunotsubo Kaido street running through the center of Yufuin at the foot of the majestic Mt. Yufu, Yufuin Onsen Hinoharu Ryokan is the perfect base for exploring the famous hot spring town. Surrounded by lush foliage, this inn exudes a calm and serene ambiance that's ideal for rest and relaxation. The facility has also taken care to include as few steps as possible to be easily accessible for elderly guests.

Three types of accommodations are available: a room with an open-air bath, a room with an indoor bath, or a room without a private bath, all of which boast soothing decors with earthy colors.

The open-air bath and the spacious private bath allow guests to soak in pure, free-flowing Yufuin hot spring water known for its skin-soothing properties that reportedly also help alleviate symptoms of arthrosis, stiff back and shoulders, neuralgia, and sensitivity to cold.

The hotel's kaiseki-style multi-course cuisine is prepared using local seasonal vegetables, tank fish, and premium wagyu beef. For younger guests, there is also a children's menu that can be combined with select kaiseki dishes. Be sure to not miss the authentic Japanese-style breakfast brimming with the unique flavors of Oita Prefecture.

3. Hatago Kayausagi

Located in Hita City, known as Oita's "Little Kyoto," Hita Onsen is a long-established hot spring resort. Just outside the center of it lies Kotohira Onsen, home to the charming Hatago Kayausagi inn right by the Takase River. Built in the 1920s, the inn's interior is furnished with retro-style furniture and various knick-knacks, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. This blend of old-fashioned Japanese ambiance and the natural beauty of Hita makes the facility an ideal spot for experiencing the essence of traditional Japan.

The inn has a total of 13 guestrooms, each one decorated with antique furnishings from the owner's collection, giving every room a unique character. The main building has six rooms while the remaining accommodations are all detached annexes featuring open-air baths with free-flowing hot spring water.

The annex rooms’ private open-air and indoor baths come in different sizes, settings, and views. In addition, the inn has two large public baths: Iwana-no-Yu (open-air and indoor) and Yuragi-no-Yu (indoor), which switch between being available to male and female guests every day. There is also the nearby Kotohira Onsen Yumesansui, a drop-in hot spring with 16 private baths that guests can use free of charge.

The inn serves kaiseki-style multi-course cuisine prepared using locally sourced ingredients from the mountains and the sea of Oita Prefecture. The chef's skill and creativity make the dishes visually stunning while bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients, making for an unforgettable culinary experience.

4. Yufuin Yasuha

Located on a quiet hill a 5-minute drive from Yufuin Station, Yufuin Yasuha is a secluded inn that boasts a rare hot spring with a bright cobalt blue color known as the miraculous "blue hot spring.” Just a 2-minute walk from the inn, guests will also find Artegio, a music-related art facility.

Guests can choose between two types of rooms: detached house-type rooms with open-air baths, or rooms within the main building. The accommodations with open-air baths have a chic and modern design featuring Ryukyu tatami straw mats and offer guests a relaxing soak in a private, tranquil setting.

Yufuin Yasuha boasts a hot spring that changes over time to a beautiful clear blue color. These waters are said to have unique skin-smoothing and skin-beautifying properties.

During mealtime, inn guests can enjoy a 10-dish course that showcases local ingredients with a creative twist that changes every month. Also recommended are the seasonal cocktails inspired by the blue hot spring waters, which make for a perfect aperitif.

5. AMANE resort SEIKAI

AMANE resort SEIKAI is a stunning hotel overlooking Shoningahama Beach and the vast waters of Oita’s Beppu Bay. Guests can soak in hot spring baths while gazing at the breathtaking horizon or unwind at the high-class hotel spa, relaxing both their body and mind.

The spacious rooms are known for their modern design and functionality. Each accommodation features a beautiful ocean view and a luxurious open-air bath with free-flowing hot spring water. There’s nothing quite like soaking in a hot spring bath while witnessing a stunning sunrise. The large "Shiosai no Yu" bath on the first floor is situated so close to the ocean that it’s often referred to as being "0 meters above sea level.” It’s said that a dip in it makes you feel as if you were floating on the surface of Beppu Bay.

The hotel also boasts several restaurants, including a traditional Japanese restaurant where guests can unwind in a private room, a seafood restaurant that offers freshly caught delicacies unique to a seaside inn, and a casual French restaurant that prioritizes locally sourced ingredients. Whatever the purpose of your trip, you can relish in Oita's cuisine at AMANE resort SEIKAI.


6. ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa, an IHG Hotel

Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this hotel is situated in Beppu, a hot spring destination known for its rich variety of spring water. The facility merges contemporary designs with luxury, and with open-air baths offering stunning views plus an infinity pool, guests of this hotel are in for one unforgettable trip into the extraordinary.

All 89 guestrooms are designed to provide ultimate relaxation through spacious bedrooms and modern, cozy interiors that showcase the essence of Japanese design. The terraces that come with some rooms feature open-air baths where guests can enjoy a private soak in hot spring waters while admiring the magnificent view of Beppu Bay. Popular amenities offered by the hotel include a yukata bathrobe, geta (Japanese wooden clogs), and a bamboo basket, a local Beppu specialty that adds to the room's charm.

Guests can savor seasonal dishes made from carefully selected local ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel also boasts a bar with a selection of unique drinks and cocktails, and an infinity pool that offers awe-inspiring panoramic views of Beppu City and Beppu Bay. You will also find a jacuzzi bath next to the pool. After swimming, unwind by the pool and enjoy a refreshing drink or a light meal.

7. The Kingfisher Resort

The Kingfisher Resort is a boutique inn that only offers 12 guestrooms amidst a serene, expansive property that includes stunning Japanese-style structures. Other highlights of the inn include its masterfully crafted kaiseki multi-course meals that guests can indulge in, as well as a wide variety of bathing options. In addition to the separate men's and women's baths, there are five private baths for guests to enjoy.

All of the inn's accommodations are housed in detached, independent-standing structures linked by a 300-meter-long corridor. Five of the detached guestrooms feature open-air baths where you can enjoy a relaxing soak while surrounded by the splendor of nature. However, please note that only some open-air baths are filled with hot spring water. The rest offer heated natural spring water.

The property features separate baths for men and women which include a cypress bath and a luxurious stone bath. There are also five private open-air and indoor baths where guests can soak in the highly concentrated carbonated hot spring waters that are constantly replenished from an underground source.

During mealtime, guests can savor dishes made from locally sourced ingredients like fresh vegetables and herbs from the inn's own garden, homemade ham, and seasonal local products such as Bungo beef. Wine enthusiasts can also enjoy the inn’s wine cellar housing around 180 bottles, including rare and valuable vintages.

8. Yufuin Souan Kosumosu

Yufuin Souan Kosumosu offers authentic Japanese-style rooms where guests can experience the seasonal, enchanting essence of Yufuin through traditional Japanese architectural furnishings and fixtures such as kumiko woodworking and yukimi shoji sliding screens with a glass bottom half for snow viewing. The rooms are additionally equipped with Japanese-style tables, chairs, and sofas, and can be reached via elevator, making them perfect for couples, families, and group travelers.

Designed to be a relaxing retreat for people of all ages, the rooms blend classic and modern designs. The facility also offers detached rooms connected by a corridor, all of which feature open-air baths.

Both the open-air and indoor baths offer free-flowing hot spring water fed directly from an underground source, providing a truly authentic onsen experience. Open-air baths are also available at the large public bathhouse and two private family baths that can be rented out for added privacy.

As for meals, guests can savor the unique flavors of Yufuin Souan Kosumosu that emphasize fresh, locally sourced vegetables and seasonal ingredients from around the world, resulting in delicious, one-of-a-kind dishes that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

9. Okuhita Onsen Umehibiki

Umehibiki is a hot spring inn known as one of the best places in Kyushu for fans of plum trees. The resort offers six room types, all of which provide a comfortable modern Japanese-style space for guests to relax in. The inn additionally offers breathtaking views of a nearby valley, allowing you to fully enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

The rooms feature large plum motifs and soothing color schemes that create a serene atmosphere, especially in the accommodations with private open-air baths. Additionally, the separate Annex and New Building have suites that feature open-air and jacuzzi baths while providing guests with stunning, panoramic views of the Hibiki Gorge, which is especially breathtaking during sunrise.

The area around the inn is like heaven on Earth. The morning air is crisp and refreshing, and watching the morning mist drifting between the mountains and the sky will clear and rejuvenate your mind. Okuhita Onsen Umehibiki will also take care of your body. The chef carefully selects ingredients from the bountiful fields and orchards of Kyushu to create a hearty and healthy breakfast that highlights seasonal flavors. The dishes are simple yet creative and will give you the energy to go out there and seize the day.

10. Seaside Hotel Mimatsu Ooetei

Conveniently located just a 10-minute walk from Beppu Station, Seaside Hotel Mimatsu Ooetei offers stunning views of Beppu Bay and boasts a rooftop open-air bath and a large public bath. There is nothing better than soaking in hot water in the morning while watching the sunrise, or taking a relaxing dip at night while being mesmerized by the light of fires lit on boats to lure in the fish.

The hotel features spacious Japanese-Western-style rooms on the top floor, which overlook Beppu Bay and come with private open-air baths. Guests in other rooms can also enjoy soaks with the same scenic views thanks to the rooftop public bath, which includes open-air baths. For couples, families, and groups, the Japanese-style rooms with private open-air baths on the ocean side are highly recommended as they offer guests a relaxing time watching the moonlight and sunrise rays reflecting off the gentle waves of Beppu Bay.

At the hotel restaurant, guests can savor the flavors of Oita made from quality seasonal ingredients, local fresh fish, and Oita wagyu beef. Breakfast consists of a light Japanese set meal that won’t weigh you down, allowing guests to start their day feeling refreshed and energized.

Let Your Worries Wash Away at a Private Open-Air Bath in Oita

With so many hot spring resorts scattered throughout Oita Prefecture, finding the best place to experience Japan’s famous hot spring culture may seem overwhelming. We hope that our article has helped you find your dream hotel or inn with a private open-air bath where you can discover a whole new world of relaxation and wash your worries away in peace and quiet. Have fun exploring Kyushu’s famous onsen area!


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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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