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Onsen Tour Tokyo 2003

Tama river valley

The valley of the Tama river, two hours from Shinjuku.

Onsen Suiko En in Kawai - Tama Valley

The bathhouse of Onsen Suiko En, overlooking the tama river.

On Friday, 31st October, I decided to make a journey to an onsen on the outer bounds of Tokyo, far in the west.

First I went to Shinjuku to get a ticket at the office, which proved to be unnecassary, since my destination was still listed on the big JR railway maps, Kawai (890 Yen). See [map]

From Shinjuku I took a Chuo Rapid for Tachigawa, 40min, where I changed for Ome Line. After Tachigawa the city finally disoluted. In Ome I had to change for a local, which followed the slopes of the Tama river, a considerable whitewater here.

I finally ended up in Kawai, after another 40min. A very small station, some vending machines around, no ticket gate. No obvious signs for the onsen, but I found a wooden board which depicted the surroundings. It was just five minutes from the station, within a marvelous japanese garden style hotel compund. I paid 1000 yen at the lobby and was allowed to enter the bathhouse. There were just a few customers, so I nearly had the basin with the spectacular view on the Tama for me alone.

Sample
me in Onsen Suiko En, Fr. 31.10. 2003

There are onsen even right in the city center of Tokyo. Check out:

  • Azabu Juban Onsen
  • Rokugo Onsen
  • Nishi Shinagawa Onsen
  • Soshigaya Okura Onsen
  • Kugahara Onsen
  • Nishi Kamata Onsen
More info

Train stations of the Ome Line

Fun:
Use Google Maps to search for Tokyo Onsen

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