5 Best Ryokans With Private Onsen In Kusatsu, Japan

Kusatsu is a destination that I think everyone should at least visit once. Boasting a unique onsen (hot springs) culture and seeping in history, Kusatsu offers hot springs-seeking adventurers an unforgettable experience in Japan!

Among the many attractions in Kusatsu, staying at a traditional Japanese ryokan is one of the most memorable experiences that this off-the-beaten-track town has to offer.

Ryokans, for those of you new to the term, are traditional Japanese-style inns that offer a unique cultural experience featuring hot spring baths and world-class hospitality. These inns typically include dinner and breakfast and come in all shapes and sizes.

With so many types of ryokans out there, it can be tricky to choose the right one. Whether you’re looking for modern comfort and luxury or a more rustic and authentic experience, there are many ryokans in Kusatsu to choose from.

Here are a handful of ryokans (with private onsens) in Kusatsu that I’ve handpicked as being the best of the best. Choose the one that matches what you’re looking for and enjoy your stay!

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Best Ryokans With Private Onsen In Kusatsu, Japan

My Top Pick For Best Ryokan In Kusatsu


Grand View Resort Beitou - The Perfect 5 Day Taipei Itinerary
  • 4-star hotel
  • Japanese-style and Western-style beds are available
  • Private in-room onsen
  • The ryokan has a free shuttle and free parking
  • There are indoor and outdoor hot springs as well as a sauna and massage
  • Offers traditional Kaiseki style multicourse Japanese dinner + breakfast


Price: $$

Tokinoniwa - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu Japan With Private Onsen
Courtesy of Booking.com

Tokinoniwa is a traditional Japanese inn that provides guests with an authentic experience full of relaxation and nature. Located in the outskirts of town, the inn is surrounded by towering mountains and lush greenery, contributing to its tranquil atmosphere.

Although the location is relatively remote compared to other hotels in the area, you can definitely expect to feel at peace here. If you think you’ll be trapped at the hotel without a car, fear not–they have a shuttle that takes you around town, including Yubatake, which is a nice little amenity.

In addition to the in-room onsen, there is a large public spa area with a variety of baths, including open-air baths, indoor baths, saunas, bedrock baths, and more. There are even massages you could opt for! Talk about relaxing.

Tokinoniwa Private Onsen - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu Japan
Courtesy of Booking.com

The rooms are quite spacious (especially for Japan) and feature tatami flooring, futon bedding and a wooden bathtub in the bathroom. Free yukata rentals are available, so you can freely lounge in your Japanese robes during your entire stay.

Tokinoniwa’s restaurant serves a Western or Japanese set menu for breakfast, while for dinner, you can expect a traditional Japanese kaiseki-style multicourse meal.

Tokinoniwa - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu Japan
Courtesy of Booking.com

In terms of the food, the breakfast and dinner meals are delicious and comprised of fresh, local ingredients. The staff that serves you? Expect nothing less than phenomenal and attentive. Drinks are also available at the hotel’s sake bar.

  • Bed Options: Japanese-style and Western-style beds available
  • Private in-room onsen: Yes
  • Free shuttle service?: Yes
  • Free parking: Yes
  • Distance from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal: 4-minute drive / 13-minute walk

Hotel Sakurai

Price: $$

Hotel Sakurai - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu
Courtesy of Booking.com

Hotel Sakurai is a lovely ryokan conveniently located right near the Kusatsu Onsen bus terminal, just an 8-minute walk from Yubatake.

The inn features several rooms that are decorated to reflect the rich history of Kusatsu. Guests can choose from various types of rooms including tatami-mat rooms, Western-style suites, and even rooms with private open-air baths!

This 4-star property is packed with in-house facilities to improve the quality and joy of your stay including free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and air conditioning to ensure that guests have all the common amenities they’re used to back home. Other amenities offered at the property include entertainment staff, a karaoke bar, a shared lounge, and a games room.

Within the property, you can spend your time relaxing in one of the three public onsens, with the most popular being the large communal bath (the largest in Kusatsu Onsen), as well as the open-air bath comprised of milky white waters and rocks full of rustic charm. Whichever you choose, they all draw water directly from the hot spring source.

Hotel Sakurai - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu Japan
Courtesy of Booking.com

When it comes to the meals, you have options. For dinner, you’ll be able to have dinner in your room kaiseki-style or at the restaurant buffet-style. A wonderful buffet-style breakfast is also included with your stay. Buffet style is quite unique for a ryokan-style property, so if you like to fill up on food, this hotel should be at the top of your list.

Hotel Sakurai Buffet - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu Japan
Courtesy of Booking.com

Every night, there is also a show of “drum” and “rice water” of traditional performing arts that you can enjoy.

If you’re looking for a stay close to the middle of everything, this is a great option! Hotel Sakurai’s location in the Kusatsu neighborhood makes it close to famous attractions including Sainokawara St, Kusatsu Tsurutaro Kataoka Museum and Kusatsu Onsen Futabaya.

  • Bed Options: Japanese-style and Western-style beds available
  • Private in-room onsen: Yes, certain rooms only
  • Free shuttle service?: Yes (Free pick-up service from the Kusatsu Onsen bus terminal is offered upon request.)
  • Free parking: Yes
  • Distance from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal: 300 meters, 5-minute walk

Kusatsu Onsen Boun

Price: $$ – $$$

Kusatsu Onsen Boun - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu With Private Onsen
Courtesy of Agoda

Kusatsu Onsen Boun is a ryokan located in the heart of town that’s mere steps away from Yubatake. The hotel’s peaceful atmosphere extends to its recreational facilities which include hot spring bath, spa, massage, and garden.

Just a three-minute walk from Yubatake, Boun Hotel boasts a selection of Kakenagashi baths, all of which are constantly supplied with fresh hot spring water, as well as a beautiful rhododendron garden.

For a truly Japanese atmosphere, guestrooms are Japanese-style with traditional tatami mats. Depending on your sleeping style, you can choose between rooms with Western-style beds or Japanese-style beds (futons on the ground). They also have a few rooms with private open-air baths for travelers who’d like more privacy and convenience when it comes to bathing.

As with most ryokan stays, your stay at the hotel will include breakfast and dinner made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.

Kusatsu Onsen Boun - Best Ryokans In Kusatsu
Courtesy of Agoda

Friendly staff, great facilities, and close proximity to pretty much everything you’ll need are what make this ryokan a top contender for those looking to explore Kusatsu.

  • Bed Options: Japanese-style and Western-style beds available
  • Private in-room onsen: Yes, certain rooms only
  • Free shuttle service?: Yes
  • Free parking: Yes
  • Distance from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal: 220 meters, 3-minute walk

Kusatsu Hotel

Price: $$

Kusatsu Hotel Exterior - Best Ryokans in Kusatsu
Courtesy of Booking.com

With its iconic exterior (reminiscent of a white castle in the architectural style of the Japanese Taisho Era), luxurious interiors, and modern amenities, Kusatsu Hotel provides a unique experience for guests looking to explore all that Kusatsu has to offer.

One of the main reasons why guests love this hotel? It’s within walking distance of many local landmarks! It’s just a few steps away from Sainokawara Park and Yubatake is just a 6-minute walk away.

Kusatsu Hotel boasts an array of accommodations including traditional Japanese-style rooms or Western-style suites with breathtaking views of the rural landscape. No matter which option you choose, you can expect nothing less than an authentic Japanese atmosphere created by the tatami floor, shoji sliding paper screens, and low tables with seating cushions.

Kusatsu Hotel - Best Ryokans in Kusatsu
Courtesy of Booking.com

The ryokan serves up delicious local specialties made from fresh ingredients sourced from nearby farms or fisherman’s markets. A Japanese dinner (optional and costs extra) is served in the privacy of the guestroom, while free coffee can be enjoyed in the Café Terrace. Breakfast is also optional and will have an additional cost.

Guests can also take advantage of the impressive spa facilities where they can enjoy traditional baths, in-room massages and body treatments to relax after long days exploring the area. There are indoor and outdoor onsens for guests to choose from, as well as a relaxing little footbath area. And if you’re looking for a bit of privacy, you can even reserve the private-use onsen for an hour or two.

NOTE: Room prices do not come with dinner/breakfast meals. Meals will need to be added on at the hotel.

  • Bed Options: Japanese-style and Western-style beds available
  • Private in-room onsen: Yes, certain rooms only
  • Free shuttle service?: Yes (shuttle service to both bus station and ski resort, advanced reservations required)
  • Free parking: Yes
  • Distance from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal: 550 meters, 8-minute walk

La Vista Kusatsu Hills

Price: $$

La Vista Kusatsu Hills is one of the newest accommodations in Kusatsu, offering a refreshing 4-star accommodation with amenities you’ll love such as an in-room open-air onsen, a sauna and terraces in the rooms.

This scenic lodging stands on high ground overlooking the Kusatsu hot spring town, so you’ll feel far removed from civilization while still just a downhill walk away from the action.

The rooms are primarily made up of a series of twin beds and include a private bathroom, well-fitted with a bath, a shower, a bidet, a hairdryer and slippers. Other creature comforts include a balcony all to yourself, as well as air conditioning, a mini-bar, and a flat-screen TV.

And when you’re looking for a change of pace from the in-room onsen? Head to the large panoramic communal bath on the top floor to enjoy a public soak with epic views!

In true ryokan nature, you can expect dinner and breakfast to be delicious and a whole lot of fun to eat. The free shuttle pickup and drop off at the Karuizawa JR Station is also a huge plus, as are the shuttles to and from the center of town!

  • Bed Options: Western-style beds available
  • Private in-room onsen: Yes
  • Free shuttle service?: Yes
  • Free parking: Yes
  • Distance from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal: 550 meters, 8-minute walk

Japan Travel Insurance

This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.

I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.

True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun… and most definitely not cheap.

Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!

One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.

SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, THEY will cover the medical expenses.

In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as:

  • emergency medical evacuationvery much needed if you like to go hiking or backpacking in the wild.
  • travel delay
  • lost checked luggage
  • adventure sports coverage (add-on)so you can rappel down waterfalls, cave dive, mountain bike, scuba dive, etc. with peace of mind.
  • electronics theft (add-on)get reimbursed if your laptop, phone, camera or other electronics get stolen.

Click here to price out how much travel insurance would be for your trip.

Looking for more Japan travel tips? You may also like:

15 Amazing Onsen Towns In Japan To Visit On Your Next Trip

7 Best Ryokans In Beppu, Japan (With Private Onsen)

Japan On A Budget: 43 Ultimate Tips On Saving Money While Traveling

Best Of Tokyo: The Perfect 5 Days In Tokyo, Japan

The Perfect Kyoto Itinerary: 5 Days In Kyoto, Japan (+ Nara and Osaka)

Osaka Day Trip From Kyoto: Best Things To Do In Osaka, Japan

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Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

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