Hot Plaza Asama Onsen, near Matsumoto

Visiting the hot spring (onsen) for a day is a cheap way to try out this uniquely Japanese experience. It’s a great way to wash away all that tiredness during your travels. Today, I’ll introduce Hot Plaza Onsen in Matsumoto.

How to get there

First, get bus time table from Matsumoto station visitor center. Take Bus no. 32 from Matsumoto Castle to Hot Plaza Onsen. The bus stop is just along the road outside the Castle.

How to board the bus

Enter the bus from the back door, take a ticket from the machine and when you alight show the ticket and pay bus fare. The fare is 300 yen for the 25 minute ride. The bus driver can give you change but it’s best to have the exact change for convenience.

It’s a nice bus ride, only a few passengers on bus, and a great way to see so many cherry blossom trees along the road!

Where to alight

The bus stop is just right in front of Hot Plaza Onsen, just cross the road. Beautiful spring flowers prior to Hot Plaza give you a warm welcome. If you are not sure where to alight just check with the bus driver, as they can understand Hot Plaza Onsen in English 🙂

How to enter the onsen

First, after stepping in put your shoes in the lockers. There’s a machine to you pay for the onsen (650 yen) and to rent a towel (200 yen). Then give the ticket to the counter staff to get your towel and proceed to the onsen area. Put your belongings in the lockers and enjoy!

It’s a simple local onsen with 1 indoor and 1 outdoor pool. The indoor one is much bigger, while the outdoor one is small, but it’s nice to bath near the small cherry blossom tree outside. Note that shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hair dryer are provided for free.

Resting area

There’s also a spacious resting place outside the onsen, with a few vending machines selling all kinds of beverages.


Guest post by Francesca at

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict