The Top 3 Best Onsen Hot Springs in the Japan’s Edo period (in 1817)

Japan is famous for having a lot of hot springs.It is said that there are approximately 3,000 hot springs with at least one hotel or inn nearby, many of which have been carefully stored and enjoyed by Japanese people since a long time ago.

In fact, many Japanese love to go on a hot spring trip and this also applied to people in the old days.We Japanese call the hot spring “Onsen (温泉)”, in which there are various types of spring qualities.Hence, the health benefit of Onsen hot springs differs depending on the spring quality.

This is why in the Edo period (Kansei era : 1789 to 1801) the ranking list of Onsen hot springs was published for the first time in Japan, based on the effectiveness of the spring water.

The Top 3 Best Japanese Hot Springs in the Onsen Banzuke published in 1817

On the table called “Onsen Banzuke (温泉番付)”, there were 2 ranking lists like the official ranking table of Sumo wrestlers, that is, the one of the Onsen hot springs in the eastern region of Japan and that of the western Japan.

Aren’t you curious about the Onsen Banzuke published in the Japan’s Edo period, about 200 years ago?For those who are interested, today I want to introduce the top 3 best Japanese hot springs in the Onsen Banzuke published in 1817, from Wikipedia “温泉番付”.

The Eastern Japan

The 1st place : Joshu Kusatsu no Yu (上州草津の湯 : present Kusatsu Onsen)

Source : Youtube “Kusatsu Onsen, JAPAN – 4 Seasons – 4K (Ultra HD) / 草津温泉”

Joshu Kusatsu no Yu, present-day Kusatsu Onsen (草津温泉) is a very famous hot spring located in the town of Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture.Even now the Onsen resort is very popular in Japan and ranked No.1 in the Biglobe’s 2018 Onsen Ranking selected by popular vote.

The 2nd place : Yashu Nasu no Yu (野州那須の湯 : present Nasu Onsen)

Yashu Nasu no Yu, present-day Nasu Onsen (那須温泉) is the hot springs sprinkled over the town of Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture.It comprises 8 major hot spring areas called “Nasu Hachiyu (那須八湯)”, namely, Nasu Yumoto Onsen (那須湯本温泉), Omaru Onsen (大丸温泉), Benten Onsen (弁天温泉), Kita Onsen (北温泉), Yahata Onsen (八幡温泉), Takao Onsen (高雄温泉), Sandogoya Onsen (三斗小屋温泉), and Itamuro Onsen (板室温泉).It is said that Nasu Onsen was opened in 630.

The 3rd place : Shinshu Suwa no Yu (信州諏訪の湯 : present Kami-Suwa Onsen)

Shinshu Suwa no Yu, present-day Kami-Suwa Onsen (上諏訪温泉) is located on the east bank of Lake Suwa in the city of Suwa, Nagano Prefecture.The hot spring water is well-known as “Bijin no Yu (美人の湯)” that makes skins beautiful, and the resort boasts its geyser that used to send up a column of hot water to the highest altitude among all geysers in Japan.

The Western Japan

The 1st place : Sesshu Arima no Yu (摂州有馬の湯 : present Arima Onsen)

Source : Youtube “4K 有馬温泉ぶらり”

Sesshu Arima no Yu, present-day Arima Onsen is a very famous hot spring located in the city of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.The Onsen resort is famous for having 3 different types of spring quality, the chloride spring with a brown color that contains plenty of salt and iron, the radioactive spring with plenty of radium, and the hydrogen carbonate spring that is rich in carbon dioxide.

The 2nd place : Tajima Kinosaki no Yu (但馬城の崎の湯 : present Kinosaki Onsen)

Tajima Kinosaki no Yu, present-day Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) is a famous hot spring with about 1,300 years of history, which is located in the city of Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture.It is a popular hot spring resort that represents Hyogo, together with Arima Onsen and Yumura Onsen (湯村温泉).

The 3rd place : Yoshu Dofugo no Yu (予州どふごの湯 : present Dogo Onsen)

Yoshu Dofugo no Yu, present-day Dogo Onsen (道後温泉) is a famous hot spring with about 3,000 years of history, which is a popular sightseeing resort located in the city of Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture.”Dogo Onsen Honkan (道後温泉本館)” in the above image is famous as a symbol of Dogo Onsen, which is a historical public bath designated as an important national cultural property in 1994.


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

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