My First Snowy Onsen Experience!


I’ve lived for years in Japan, but never went to a snowy onsen before.


That’s not true anymore.  This Friday heavy snows fell across Japan and we were forced to change our plans.  We went to Lake Kawaguchi instead.  My husband had to by chains to put on the tires for driving on snow and ice.  

We went to an onsen I’ve only visited in the summer. However, now I only want to visit it in winter.  It was so beautiful with snow.  Too bad I couldn’t take pictures of the inside.


Mt. Fuji hidden under clouds.


The shoe lockers where I left my snow-covered boots.


The outside of the Onsen.


No ink allowed


This place had so many bath options: carbonate, steam, cavern, panorama, sauna, and more.  Being me, I had to try them all.  My favorite was the cavern bath where it’s literally what it sounds like.

You go inside a steamy cavern and enjoy a hot, bubbling bath.  Thanks to the steam, it feels very private because you can’t see each other easily.

Sometimes at snowy baths you see these conical straw hats hanging on racks. Those are for if it rains and you want to sit in the outdoor bath with something to stop the rain from pelting your face.


One thing I find uncomfortable is when mothers bring in boys that are a little too old (like 9 or 10).  The boys start to stare. They are becoming aware.  I find myself avoiding baths with boys who look too old to be there.  I don’t like they’re staring.

If you are ever at Lake Kawaguchi, I recommend this onsen, especially in winter.  dsc07553


6 thoughts on “My First Snowy Onsen Experience!

  1. いいなー! It looks so beautiful there! I’m glad you’re having a nice time. About the boys, I’ve seen little boys in the bath with their mothers like 4 or 5 but I’ve never seen ones as old as 9 or 10. Sheesh! They need to go into the boy’s bath! Also, boo no tattoos! Get with the 21st century!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reason that’s been explained to me is that in Japan tattoos are associated with the mafia.

      So it’s an indirect way to keep mafia types out.

      However, it gets a little strange to me in places like where this onsen is located.

      I might I get that if the onsen were embedded in a city or near an area with a crime problem.

      However, how many mafia members live up in a tourist trap town near Mt. Fuji?

      There are sometimes even signs in the onsens that encourage other patrons to “alert staff if you see ink on someone”.

      That seems kind of creepy to me. Do they really think I’m going to *gasp* at the little heart tattooed on a woman’s ankle and run to the staff to get her tossed out?

      Seems to cause more problems than it solves. :/


  2. yikes, that seems extreme! Maybe there are people who were in the Japanese mafia once but got out and turned their life around, who knows. And I could imagine that lots of tourists might have tiny hearts like you say and should still be allowed to enjoy the spa.

    Liked by 1 person

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