Travel to a Relaxing Hot Spring Resort… Without the Travel!

ByJason Gatewood
Nov 14, 2021

Travel to a Relaxing Hot Spring Resort… Without the Travel!

It’s no secret that Japan is one of the most seismically active places on Earth. But this is also a good thing when you consider one of the country’s most valuable assets: the onsen, which is Japanese for hot spring. You can find hot springs all over Japan, and indeed whole towns have been known to capitalize on their proximity to the geothermal boilers. However, if you live in the Greater Tokyo Area, you know that the chances of finding one of these natural pools are slim to none.

There are three choices for springs lovers in urban settings:

  1. Take a mini-vacation to places like Atami, Hakone, and Izu in Kanagawa, Gunma, or Tochigi. These places are known for having good onsen hotels, and depending on the season; you can also ski, snowboard, hike, and more. The water coming out of the ground is rich in minerals and other healing agents, and it’s naturally heated to perfection by Mother Earth. Many of these places are resorts, so they provide soap, towels, shaving kits, and more. Some also have excellent restaurants attached to them.
  2. Go visit your local “sento,” meaning Japanese bathhouse. You can find these places in most areas around Tokyo, especially older “shitamachi” areas like Asakusa, Senju, and Kanda. I even spotted one in Ginza recently. The Japanese originally made these places out of necessity because many homes didn’t have enough space for a tub or even hot water. So every neighborhood had a bathhouse. Because of this, most sento lean heavily utilitarian in the way of facilities: places to wash up, a big rectangular tub for 8-14 people to sit in, and that’s it. You bring your own toiletries and soap.
  3. The “Super Sento” or “Super Spa.” These are a mixture of #1 & #2 and this author’s personal favorite when wanting to relax. Imagine an enormous sento or a country onsen that decided to move to the city and snag a penthouse apartment.

The “Super Sento” brings all the amenities of a countryside hot springs resort into the middle of town.

Manyo Club Onsen in Yokohama

Recently I discovered one in Yokohama’s Minato-Mirai district called 万葉倶楽部 or Manyo Club in English. Located just a short 5 minute walk away from the Minato-Mirai line station of the same name, it carries all the amenities of a fine countryside hot springs hotel but with dramatic views of the Yokohama seaside. If you want to stay overnight or even over several days, there is an attached hotel.

The main draw, of course, is the onsen. This onsen is a proper hot spring; the water is trucked in 6 times a day from springs in Atami and Yugawara, spitting distance from Mt. Fuji. There are a variety of pools to soak your stress away in, from the standard and huge indoor tubs to various rooftop outdoor pools overlooking the Minato Mirai district. There are even private tubs rented by the hour for those who want some “private time” with family or significant other.

In addition to the onsen, there are several other amenities as well:

  • Full-service restaurants, both buffet and set menu style
  • Manga reading room and Internet cafe
  • Traditional Thai massage and British style reflexology services
  • Dry, salt, and herbal sauna rooms
  • Gift shop, meeting rooms, banquet hall rentals, and more

Manyo Club is located just 30 minutes by express train from central Tokyo. You can reach it directly by using either Minato Mirai station on the Minato Mirai line (Tokyu Toyoko Line) or Sakuragi-Cho station on JR’s Keihin-Tohoku Line, Negishi Line, the Yokohama City Subway Blue line. There is also an hourly, free shuttle service between the Yokohama Station West exit and the resort from 10 am until 11 pm.

Atami Yugawara Onsen Manyo-Club, Yokohama MM21

Atami Yugawara Onsen Manyo-Club, Yokohama MM21 – Japanese hot spring (Onsen)-Kanagawa

Address: 2-7-1, Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0001 (Map Link)
TEL: +81 570-07-4126

Jason L Gatewood

Photo by: Mayo Club Onsen Tokyo

About the author

Jason Gatewood subscriber

Our Tokyo based collaborator is a tech nerd, Japanophile, train nut, and a veritable fountain of information on Japan. His current goal is to watch Evangelion and actually "get it", sing every permutation of "Hotel California" at any karaoke gathering, ride every bullet train line, and sample all varieties of ramen throughout Japan. Catch more of his musings at ·

1 comment so far

Chris NicholsonPosted on4:51 pm - Mar 11, 2023

Hi Jason I just sent you a message on LinkedIn

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