Setouchi: The Luxurious Hidden Gem in Japan

Setouchi: The Luxurious Hidden Gem in Japan

It’s been a long road but now, more than ever, we are ready to embrace unique healing experiences in a whole new way and the Setouchi region of Japan is truly the wellness center of Asia.

Whether you’re craving emotional, spiritual or physical healing, Setouchi’s incredible onsens, found nearly everywhere are the new “hot spots”. These bubbling springs refresh with hot mineral-rich waters that rise to the surface at 25 degrees Celsius minimum and they connect your body with your mind and create a new unique space in your mind to be able to think more clearly and set you on a revitalized pathway forward.

One can easily find an onsen at a range of boutique hotels and traditional guesthouses, or whilst trekking or exploring on foot, indicated on signs and maps by the kanji 湯 (yu, meaning “hot water”), and it’s best to familiarize yourself with the rules and etiquette of enjoying one as is customary with many experiences in Japan!

Setouchi’s onsen scene delivers on the promise of physical and spiritual healing.Always framed by natural backdrops, these experiences provide soothing baths of sparkling, fresh clean water and a restorative balance between the body and the mind. Some are best for skin beautifying qualities, others are said to heal joint problems, and the list goes on but regardless, it’s a soothing bath of sparkling, fresh and clean waters generally framed by impossibly gorgeous views and background.

Want the insider scoop on the top hot spring hot spots? Several top the list with a blend of phenomenal healing waters and pitch perfect locations. Dogo Onsen is Japan’s oldest, said to have been curing ailments for over 3000 years and the experience goes beyond the waters with recommended strolls through nearby shops, tea tastings and a sampling of local dumplings. Arima Onsen lies peacefully in the foothills of Mount Rokko and features waters unusually rich in minerals and natural elements. And, dating back 1300 years is Kinosaki Onsen, best known for its seven public springs where each of the local bath houses work in tandem with one another formulating a cozy, connected ryokan-style intimate experience. Here, it’s entirely acceptable to roam around in your robe and wooden geta sandals while exploring local haunts.

Setouchi encompasses 7 prefectures and features over 700 islands that dot the Seto Inland Sea, and beyond wellness, it is a haven for lovers of adventure, art and nature.

For more information, visit and follow along incredible Setouchi adventures at @setouchifinder

Photo credit: Setouchi DMO