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水上温泉 水上館/Flickr
Christian Kaden/Flickr

Onsen is a well known and popular part of Japanese culture. Especially for many Japanese, onsen hotels are a popular tourist destination on weekends or during holidays. Forgetting the business of daily life and healing both body and heart… Without a doubt, this is the best way to refresh yourself!
Of course, most baths are separated into men’s and women’s, and sometimes there is a mixed bath. Onsen usually involve taking a bath together with strangers. A kind of naked communal bathing, if you will.

But these days, there are many onsen hotels which have private onsen called Kashikiri-buro.
“I want to relax not being bothered by other guests.”
“I want to take a bath together with family or a partner.”
It is for these reasons that Kashikiri-buro were made.

There are different kinds of Kashikiri-buro, such as ones with inside or outside baths. There are also rooms to stay in that have their own kashikiri-buro, like in the picture above. Having their own Kashikiri-buro in a room allows guests to take a bath anytime they want. You are be able to relax and spend the best time not worrying about time. The result is that many onsen hotels are building these types of Kashikiri-buro, cementing its popularity.
They are also a great way for foreigners who hesitate to take a bath with strangers to experience onsen.

Now, I will introduce some great kashikiri you can dream to visit someday.

Kiraku (Kinosaki Onsen, Hyogo)

Kinosaki Onsen is located in Hyogo prefecture and has history of over 1,300 years. They have two kinds of Kashikiri-buro. This bathtub is made of chinaware, and they have another made of iron.

Turuya (Zao Onsen, Yamagata)

Zaō Onsen is a famous hot spring area on Mt. Zaō. Records date back as far as 110 AD. This onsen hotel, ‘Turuya’ has their own natural hot spring origin. This allows the onsen water to keep flooding into the bathtubs, always providing fresh water into the bath. You also can enjoy nature in each season through the big window.

Hotel Kanigoten (Tara Onsen, Saga)

This hotel has multiple Kashikiri, but my recommendation is this one. You can see the beautiful ocean just in front of you! This dynamic scenery is remarkable. On a clear night, you can even enjoy onsen looking up at lots of stars at night.

Tatsumikan (Kamimoku Onsen, Gunma)


In 1924, Mr. Fukatsu, the founder of Kamimoku Onsen, was wondering why the plants die every year in specific parts of his farm. He thought that there must be a heat source deep in the ground and tried to dig. This was the beginning of Kamimoku Onsen. It takes about 17 years for natural water to come up to the ground as a hot spring. At this onsen, you can truly feel the blessings of nature.

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