Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro

When it comes to Tottori Prefecture, the usual go-to places are its renowned sand dunes and Mount Daisen. But only few are privy to Sanin Hawai Onsen, a hot spring town that’s home to numerous ryokan situated in the middle of Tottori’s famous sightseeing spots. 

Though there are various ryokan where you can relish in a relaxing soak, Bokoro (望湖楼) is at the top of our list due to its striking resemblance to the bathhouse in the cult classic Spirited Away

Red bridge straight out of Spirited Away

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - no faceImage credit: Studio Ghibli

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - red bridge and ryokan exterior
Image credit:

Although it has a striking red bridge that looks like it could be straight out of the mysterious spiritual world seen in Spirited Away, Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro is actually a luxury hot spring resort that serves mortals – we swear. Nevertheless, it has earned the reputation of a “floating inn” thanks to its nearly otherworldly appearance. 

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - red bridge on lake togoImage credit: @chika0313

Unlike most ryokan, where there are hot spring facilities within the hotel’s premises, Bokoro has baths that are situated atop a lake. Guests will have to reach the open-air hot springs by crossing the vermillion bridge, which connects the ryokan to further down the lake. 

Floating open-air onsen on Lake Togo

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - red bridge
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Perched right on the edge of Lake Togo, one of the most beautiful sights in the region, Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro plays hosts to n unique open-air hot spring on the lake. Guests can soak in the picturesque view of the surrounding waters at the Asahi and Yuhi baths.

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - open air onsen
Image credit: Tottori Prefectural Government Tourism

Aside from a range of onsen facilities in the ryokan, you can also enjoy Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro’s revamped large public bath, which was unveiled in 2019. Particularly effective for soothing muscular pain, their sodium sulphate springs are not only relaxing, but also relieve stiffness. 

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - onsen egg
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There’s even an egg bath where you can get a taste of onsen eggs – literally – as guests get to boil eggs in a designated small tub. To reach the perfect doneness, the eggs take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. We recommend going for a quick soak while waiting. 

Staying at Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - room with a view
Image credit: @suzuranribbon

Make yourself at home in any of Bokoro’s different rooms, which includes Japanese style rooms and more Westernised ones. Whichever room you end up opting for, you’ll be greeted with a stunning and panoramic view of Lake Togo.

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - ryokan mealImage credit: @sanin_food.official

Rates range from ¥12,000 (~USD93.56~) to ¥16,000 (~USD124.75) per head per night. Each day, you’ll get two meals, which are prepared using locally grown produce.

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - private room in ryokan
Special rooms with private open-air baths
Image credit: Bokoro

To take your stay further up a notch, consider splurging on the Yu-no-Sumika room (¥20,000~, USD155.95~) or Special room Kojokaku (¥35,000~, USD272.91~). Equipped with an open-air bath (rotenburo; 露天風呂) that can comfortably fit two, the Yu-no-Sumika room is a great option for guests who prefer some privacy. 

Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro - exterior of ryokan
Image credit: Bokoro

To get to the ryokan, take the Tokkyu Super Hakuto train from Kyoto, Osaka, or Shin Osaka Station to JR Kurayoshi Station. From there, hop on the shuttle bus service that’s available between 2PM to 6PM – it will bring you straight to Sanin Hawai Onsen Bokoro. 

Note that booking has to be made in advance in order to utilise the bus service, so be sure to check with the staff to arrange for pick-up services.

Address: 4-25 Bōkorō, Hawaionsen, Yurihama, Tōhaku District, 682-0715 Tottori
Telephone: 0858-35-2221

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from left): @mari.koni, @sanin_food.official and Studio Ghibli

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