1. Hakone (Kanagawa Prefecture)
2. Yufuin (Oita Prefecture)
3. Kusatsu (Gunma Prefecture)
4. Noboribetsu (Hokkaido)
5. Beppu (Oita Prefecture)
Source: Recruit Lifestyle
Japan boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot-springs resorts), ranging from large spa-type facilities with the latest modern equipment to traditional hot springs that offer rustic charm. These days it has become rare for people to make extended stays at hot-spring resorts for therapeutic purposes, but hot springs are still popular among people of all generations as a place to go and relax.
According to a nationwide survey of 8,721 people from their teens to their 70s conducted last year, hot springs areas subjects said they wished most to visit again were given as per the above list. One reason why more than one respondent out of three named the Hakone onsen may be due to the large number of voters residing in the Kanto region close to Tokyo. Notable was the high popularity of the Yufuin (2nd place) and Beppu (5th place) spas both of which are located in Oita Prefecture — about 1,000 kilometers from Tokyo. This popularity is underscored by Yufuin’s ranking first place in response to another survey question, “Of the places you have not yet visited, which mineral springs would you most like to try?” The biggest reasons given for chosing Yufuin were, “Because it’s famous” (with 74%), followed by “The town seems to have a nice atmosphere (45%) and “I’m interested in the therapeutic effects and quality of the mineral waters” (36%).