Katsuura Onsen/Kamogawa Onsen: Hot spring resorts in Chiba, where it is warm even in winter

Located adjacent to Tokyo, Chiba Prefecture is dotted with hot spring resorts centered around the Southern Boso area. Among others, Katsuura City and Kamogawa City, facing the Pacific Ocean, are especially popular thanks to the mild weather which creates a semi-tropical resort atmosphere. It takes only 1.5 to 2 hours from Tokyo, and this good accessibility makes them more popular.

Located along the ocean, many hot springs in this area have water with high salt concentration, which offers a refreshing feeling on the skin. Some of the hot springs on the mountain side contain sulfur, which is said to make the skin nice and smooth. It is easy to get around these nearby onsen areas by train or car, so visiting more than one to see and enjoy differences in water quality and scenery is recommended.

Kamogawa Onsen

Kamogawa City has not only the charm of the ocean but also that from satoyama, the border zone between mountain foothills and arable flat land. One of the representative spots with such characteristics is Oyama Senmaida, an overwhelming landscape with terraced rice fields covering the mountainside.

Starting business in 2003, Kamogawa Onsen is a relatively new onsen and home to more than 20 hot spring facilities. Ryokan Kamogawakan opened a new facility, Onsen Puro “HARUKA,” in 2019 on the rooftop. It has been gaining popularity, commanding a breathtaking view of the ocean from up close. “HARUKA” is mixed bathing facility where guests wear a bathing suit or special wear, so recommended for families and even onsen beginners.

Another attractive aspect of Kamogawakan’s Onsen Puro “HARUKA” is that it offers different views of the ocean in the early morning, daytime, and nighttime.

Kamogawakan’s Onsen Puro “HARUKA”

Because of the mild climate even in winter, Kamogawa gets spring earlier than Tokyo, so bright yellow fields of canola flowers appear in Kamogawa from January to March.

Nanabatake Road in Kamogawa, Minami-Boso

Oyama Senmaida terraced rice paddies

Kamogawa City Tourism Association

Access Tokyo Sta. -> 2 hours by JR Limited Express “Wakashio” ->Awa-Kamogawa Sta.
URL https://www.kamonavi.jp/

Katsuura Onsen

Katsuura City is a port town with 8 fishing ports, and in particular is known for having one of the biggest volume of bonito catch landings in Japan. That allows you to enjoy excellent seafood for reasonable prices. As many of the hotels and ryokan (Japanese-style inns) are located along the coastline, guests can enjoy soaking in a bath while looking at the great ocean view.

Also in Katsuura, new natural onsen spa “edén” just opened in 2022. This drop-in facility is a so-called “infinity onsen,” boasting seamless scenery of the ocean and spa.“edén” is mixed bathing facility where guests wear a bathing suit or special wear, so recommended for families and even onsen beginners.

Katsuura’s “edén”

“edén” has a great oceanfront view, which shows the bay and the bath as if they are seamlessly merged. At the restaurant, relax and feel a resort atmosphere while enjoying a cocktail at its outdoor lounge after bathing.

Katsuura Big Hina Doll Festival is held from late February to early March every year. The sight of hina dolls placed on each stone step of Tomisaki Shrine is a must-see.

Katsuura Big Hina Doll Festival

Ubara Beach

Editor’s comment

Katsuura’s local dish “Katsuura Tantanmen” is said to be created so that fishermen and female divers can warm themselves by eating this after working. Tantanmen is ramen noodles with spicy miso or soy sauce flavor and ground pork. Katsuura Tantanmen is served at various places in the city, and my favorite is the one served at “Ishii.”

Katsuura Tantanmen

Katsuura City Tourism Association

Access Tokyo Sta. -> 90 min. by JR Limited Express “Wakashio” -> Katsuura Sta.
URL https://www.katsuura-kankou.net/

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The information herein is as of November 2022
I am Ayumi from Chiba Prefecture. I love sweets. I majored in Japanese history in my university. I have visited many historic sites from the ancient days to the modern days on my trips. I have visited about 100 castles of various sizes. I am also obsessed with visiting “anime pilgrimage sites,” the locations featured in popular anime and manga.

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