Japan’s Best Onsen For a Day Trip - 2015 Ranking
A day trip to an onsen is very popular in Japan
Japanese travellers love to go on a day trip to an onsen. Spend the day with your friends, try some local foods, and relax in the bath. Higaeri onsen 日帰り温泉 is the Japanese word for a one day trip Japanese hot spring.
The Japanese TripAdvisor site released its new ranking of Day Spas and Onsen for 2015 (日帰り温泉&スパ 2015). The ranking is based on the reviews of visitors for onsen all over Japan and includes some hot springs that are not listed in regular guidebooks. Here is the translated list for you.
1. Healthy Land Tamatebako Onsen in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu (ヘルシーランド たまて箱温泉)
2. Lamune Onsen in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu (ラムネ温泉館 )
3. Yawaraginosato Hoheikyo Onsen in Hokkaido (やわらぎの里 豊平峡温泉)
4. Kusatsu Onsen Otakinoyu in Gunma Prefecture (草津温泉 大滝乃湯)
5. Miharashi no Yu in Tokyo Hachijo-machi （みはらしの湯）
6. Mitamanoyu in Yamanashi Prefecture (みはらしの丘 みたまの湯)
7. Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari in Tokyo Odaiba （大江戸温泉物語）
8. Shikanoyu in Tochigi Prefecture （鹿の湯）
9. Shintoronoyu in Miyagi Prefecture (中山平温泉 しんとろの湯)
10. Enoshima Island Spa in Kanagawa Prefecture (江の島アイランドスパ えのすぱ)
11. Yudomari Onsen in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu （湯泊温泉）
12. Takinoyu in Miyagi Prefecture （滝の湯）
13. Sainogawara Rotenburo in Gunma Prefecture （西の河原露天風呂）
14. Yamagawa Sunamushi Onsen in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu （山川砂むし温泉）
15. Yunomine Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture （湯の峰温泉）
16. Takegawara Spa in Oita Prefecture （竹瓦温泉）
17. Sukayu Onsen in Aomori Prefecture （酸ヶ湯温泉）
18. Kuma-no-yu in Hokkaido （熊の湯）
19. Dogo Onsen Main Hall in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku （道後温泉本館）
20. Saraku in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu （砂楽）
Please enjoy some of the baths that are popular with the locals. There is a lot of information about onsen available in Japanes. Unfortunately, there is still a lot less information available in English and other languages.
The TripAdvisor ranking page in Japanese http://www.tripadvisor.jp/pages/Publicbath_2015.html
Higaeri onsen day trip from Tokyo
With the fast and reliable Japanese trains, you can reach several of these onsen from Tokyo for a day trip. Staying in Tokyo, I have been to #7 Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari in Odaiba and #10 Enoshima Island Spa near Kamakura.
Visit Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari on Odaiba in Tokyo Bay if you want to go with friends. It has a fun atmosphere and everybody can meet for drinks, snacks, and games between baths wearing a Japanese yukata, a light robe cut like a kimono. There is also a special ashiyu foot bath area outside that you can all try together. Inside the onsen baths are separated for men and women. There are baths inside and outside with different water temperatures as well as a sauna. If you stay in Tokyo, you can spend an afternoon or evening here after sightseeing in the city.
Enoshima Island Spa
For a visit to Enoshima Island Spa I recommend making it a full day trip from Tokyo. The Spa is located on the small Enoshima Island. It is a very nice place to go for a walk, visit the local shrine, and have some seafood dishes. From this island you can see Mount Fuji. There is a Japanese style onsen area with sauna and a pool area here (bring a swimsuit for this). Enoshima is very close to Kamakura and you can come to this onsen also after visiting the famous Big Buddha, taking a walk on Kamakura beach, or visiting some of the many temples. It is about an hour by train from Tokyo to Enoshima and about 15 minutes from Kamakura.
I hope to visit a few more onsen from the list soon. Please try relaxing in a Japanese bath. There are good onsen all over Japan!