Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen

Highlights of Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen

Kinugawa Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) is a very popular onsen (hot spring) village, part of Nikko City, located 30 min from Central Nikko. Onsen enthusiasts come from around Japan to stay in its many Japanese Ryokans and enjoy the effects of the natural hot springs. For a quieter area, the Kawaji Onsen (川治温泉) is another popular hot spring area 10km upstream from Kinugawa Onsen.

Between Kinugawa Onsen and Kawaji Onsen is Ryuokyo Gorge (龍王峡). This gorge offers many outdoor activities, hiking trails, and beautiful views.

The area also has many things for children, such as the  Edo Wonderland, an Edo period (1603-1867) themed attraction, where visitors (adults and children) can dress up as ninjas and samurais!

There are many festivals and events, including the Night (time) Cherry Blossom Festival (early April) and Tsukiakari Hana Kairou (end Sep to early Oct), which are worth visiting.  The autumn foliage (end Oct- Early Nov) at Ryuokyo is also extremely beautiful.

One way to travel from Tokyo is to take the Tobu Line from Asakusa station, Which takes 2 hours on the express trains. There is also a Nikko Pass covering the area, so if you plan to stay for a few days, it is worth checking out.

Another way to visit Kinugawa Onsen is to travel to JR Utsunomiya station by Shinkansen and take the Silk Express (highway bus). This is recommended if you would like to see interesting attractions not easily accessible by public transport or if you would like to spend some time in Utsunomiya city tasting its famous gyoza or enjoying its vibrant nightlife!


From Tokyo

From Airports

Haneda Intl. Airport

Narita Intl. Airport

Ibaraki Airport

Fukushima Airport

2 hrs By Car

Main Stations

Videos of Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen


Bridges over Kinugawa River

Things to DO in Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen

Kinugawa Onsen Iwaburo Onsen

Onsen (Hot Spring)

The hot spring of Kinugawa Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) and Kawaji Onsen (川治温泉) was first discovered in the Edo period (around the 1600s). However, originally priests and daimyos from Edo were the only ones allowed to use it. In the Meiji era (1868-1912) the hot springs were open to the public and gained popularity ever since. It is said Kinugawa Onsen helps relief from fatigue and Kawaji Onsen is good for healing wounds.
Ryuokyo gorge (valley) in Kinugawa

Ryuokyo Gorge

Around 22 million years ago, volcanic rocks erupted from underwater volcanoes, creating Ryuokyo Gorge (龍王峡). The gorge lies between Kinugawa and Kawaji Onsens and is renowned for its beauty, especially from late October to early November, with vibrant autumn foliage. The 7-kilometer walking trail offers a 3 to 4-hour hike with stunning views.
Japanese traditional river rafting on Kinugawa

Ourdoors activity

The Ryuokyo Gorge is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Experience 'Line Kudari (ライン下り),' a relaxing downstream rafting experience in a traditional Japanese wooden boat down the Kinugawa River (suitable for all ages). If you are more adventurous, why not try rafting, kayaking, canoeing, SUP, and fishing, which some companies offer?
Entrance to Nikko Edo Wonderland


This area has many attractions to keep adults as well as children entertained. The most famous is the Edo Wonderland, but Tobu World Square, Trick Art Pia (museum), as well as a dinosaur attraction and a big maze attraction called palladium are also popular.
Steam Engine 'Daijyu' at Kinugawa

Steam Engine

Why not travel here by Steam engine? SL Taiju (大樹) runs the 12.4km journey from Shimo-Imaichi station to Kinugawa Onsen taking approx 35min almost daily.

Edo Wonderland

Entrance to Nikko Edo Wonderland
Come time travel to Samurai roaming Edo-period Japan! You can transform into a ninja, samurai, or townsperson for an immersive experience, or enjoy the day as a time traveler visiting Edo.

Silk Express

Silk Express bus taking guests to Kinugawa Onsen
Why not join a bus tour by Silk Express? The Silk Express runs from Kinugawa Onsen, Utsunomiya, and Nikko and takes you on a fun excursion around Yunishigawa and the Nikko area.

EATING in Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen

Japanese Food

Kinugawa Onsen is a popular destination with many affordable Japanese restaurants to choose from offering Soba, Tonkatsu, Tempura and more.

Western Food

Kinugawa Onsen is a popular destination with many affordable Western-style restaurants and cafes offering pizza, pasta, steak and more.


Delicious Soba at Kinugawa and Kawaji Onsen
One of the most popular Japanese dishes in the Kinugawa area is Soba Noodles. The climate is ideal for growing soba wheat and the good quality local water is ideal to kneed the noodles.

Places to STAY in Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen

Onsen Ryokans (Japanese style inns)

This area is a very popular hot spring destination with many traditional Ryokans that offer rooms for solo travelers and bookings for large groups. Some establishments can also cater to complex food requirements.

Western Hotels

Although there are more Ryokan-style accommodations in this area, there are also a few 3 to 4-star Western-style Hotels and many Japanese style hotels with Western Beds.

Holiday Rentals & Airbnb

Holiday rentals and Airbnbs are also available in the area.

Kinugawa Grand Hotel YUME no TOKI

Kinugawa Grand Hotel Yume no toki (in Kinugawa Onsen)
Indulge in delicious seasonal Kaiseki cuisine, unwind in open-air baths, and relax in our nice hot spring to experience a calm and memorable stay.

Kinugawa Park Hotels

View of Kinugawa Park Hotel
Just minutes from Kinugawa Onsen Station. With scenic river views, delicious food and amazing hot spring baths, our hotel is great for family vacations and getaways.

Top EVENTS around Kinugawa Onsen & Kawaji Onsen

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