top
温泉
3/11/2009

Japan's islands are mountainous and volcanically active, meaning that in the Land of the Rising Sun there are countless onsen. Bathing in the hot springs plays a strong role in Japanese traditions and had remained part of everyday life to this very day. The warm baths serve less to clean the body and more to relax it. However, you should not simply get into the tub of hot water, as you must first adhere to a strict set of rules for cleaning your body first: First, you must strip down and soap your body several times, rinsing it each time thoroughly in water, then, taking a small towel with you, you can enter the hot tub itself. There are very many different types of onsen: springs that are simply covered over by a simple wooden roof, luxurious versions, indoors or outside as part of a hotel, or even in a private home.

Irrespective of the version you choose to frequent, the focus is on relaxing the mind and body. And the hot springs are also said to have curative properties. Only the heartbroken must seek solace elsewhere.

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, © PFC2, Flickr
Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, © PFC2, Flickr
Kusatsu Onsen, © Gunma prefecture © JNTO
Tamagawa, Vapor bath
Honke Bankyu
Honke Bankyu
Kasentei Yuraku, Big Bathroom © JNTO
Narata, © Meguropolitan, Flickr
Bousui, Private Gazebo, © jamesjustin, Flickr
Suwa, © Meguropolitan, Flickr
Shoheikaku, Open-air Bath, © JNTO
Yugawara, © Ken’s love love, Flickr
Kurokawa onsen, © Jasuhiro, Flickr
Kurokawa onsen
Honke Bankyu, © Stefan Karp, ma ma
Honke Bankyu, © Stefan Karp, ma ma
Honke Bankyu, © Stefan Karp, ma ma
Shima Onsen Spa, © Visual Gunma © JNTO
Tamagawa
Tamagawa
Honke Bankyu
Kusatsu Onsen
Private Onsen
Naniwa Issui, Guestroom equipped with open-air bath, © JNTO
Suwa, © Meguropolitan, Flickr
Naniwa Issui
Chorakuen, Open-air Bath, © JNTO
Tamago-Yu, © KoTo EoEo, Flickr
Goshogake
Kinsen, © unresttwothree, Flickr
Honke Bankyu, © Stefan Karp, ma ma
Honke Bankyu, © Stefan Karp, ma ma
Honke Bankyu, © Stefan Karp, ma ma