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Senami onsen is along the sea of Japan

Come to Senami Onsen Town to take in the vast and expensive views of the sea of Japan from the soothing comforts of a perfectly heated outdoor hot spring. This onsen may be simplistic and home to only two separate onset baths, but  holds the secret of an amazing outdoor view that is certainly worth the travel.

Ryokan robby

Beer vending machine is available in Senami Ryokan

This is a fancy Ryokan!

The sea view from Senami onsen

Located just a 10-15 minutes taxi drive from Murakami station, this Ryokan is a small, exquisite haven situated in a quiet, peaceful and serine Onsen town. Taxis are easy to find right outside the station and costs around ¥1,400 each way. When we pulled up, we were greeted by two exquisitely suited men who opened the taxi doors for us. The lobby to the Ryokan (Japanese hotel) was dimly lit with beautiful radiating oranges that really gave the place a rich and inviting atmosphere. In fact, the first thing I thought when I entered the place was that I was simply not dressed in enough finery to be here.

Inside Senami onsen

We were greeted by every member of staff, who bowed and smiled until we made our way to the reception desk. Since this is a Japanese hotel (Ryokan), the onsen is mainly used by the guests, however, it is also open for the public at the ridiculously cheap price of ¥540 for the whole day. Towels are also available to rent at ¥100 for a small face towel or full body towel.

The game centre in Ryokan

Onsen Etiquette

To avoid any embarrassment, I feel it’s necessary to quickly glimpse over the basics of Onsen etiquette in Japan.

First of all, you aren’t really allowed to use many onsens in Japan if you have any tattoos. This being said, if you can get yourself some skin coloured tape, you’ll be absolutely fine. I have never had any problems with this myself.

Second, you need to be naked. Japanese onsens are generally split by gender, so this shouldn’t be a worry and actually, I’ve got to say that it feels really nice and freeing to be naked. Before long, you’ll be strutting around with your towel over your shoulder, just like me.

Lastly, is the procedure for entering a bath. The first thing you should do when you enter is wash your entire body with soap and put your hair up. As a general rule, you should not let your hair touch the water, and although I’ve seen many people break this rule in my time, it’s best to try and abide by it as best you can.

So, that’s it. Pick your onsen and let the warm water hug your entire body until every stress, ache and problem you have melts away.

Onsen noren will show you which way to enter

女 – Females only (orange) 男 – Men only (blue)

Witness the sea of Japan from the outdoor hot spring

I’ve seen amazing outdoor onsens on numerous websites and in many magazines, and i’ve always wanted to go to one myself. I already absolutely love onsens. The tingly feeling when you get out of a hot onsen, the warm hugging of the water when you enter and the way your skin feels completely smooth afterwards; there is just nothing better to me than an onsen. It’s quite possibly my favourite aspect of Japanese culture and something you simply have to try if you ever visit. However, I have never been to an onsen where the view from the outdoor hot springs is anything more than a few walls, but this onsen was different.

Inside ryokan onsen

Open air onsen in Murakami city

Sitting in the outdoor pool, I could clearly see the full expanse of the sky making contact with the beautifully turquoise, peaceful sea. If i stood up, I could even see little parts of the beach. To the right of me, over a small fence were the mountains in the distance and ahead of me were all the sounds, smells and delights of the sea of Japan.
With my arms folded over the rockery, I peered out over the green grassy verge, past the perfectly circular bushy green trees of the Ryokan garden grounds and out to the beauty of Japanese nature. Often, I would get out and sit on a rock for a while, before plunging back in again and repeating the process, still fixated on that amazing view. Before I knew it, I had stayed there for over two hours. And that is the beauty of Japanese Onsens.

After an onsen, I like to have another good wash. The washing stations were equipped with a full range of body soap, shampoo, conditioner and separate hand and face wash. In the changing room, there were rows of hairdryers, hair brushes and other creams all available for free use.

many vending machine in Senami onsen Ryokan

The perfect ending

Simply ask the hotel staff to call you a taxi and the rest is simple. Alternatively, I would recommend you take a stroll along the beach near the sea as the perfect ending to a peaceful day. The beach is clean, fresh and almost deserted. The sea breeze simply feels amazing on your skin.

 sunset view from Senami onsen

Be sure to visit the souvenir shop before you leave the Onsen. You can find some very unique food there that you can sample, as well as some homemade crafts.

souvenir shop in Senami onsen ryokan


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Hazel Taylor

Hazel Taylor

A lover of nature, food and dangerous heights. Originally from a small seaside town in Essex, England, I am making the most of exploring all the curves and colours of Japan. My one aim is to raise the profile of the most extroadinary places in Japan, so that you too may explore the depth and breath of this wonderous place.

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