Nick's Guide to Onsens in Japan

Nick's Travels

Information on Onsens in Japan

Japan is a group of volcanic islands. Volcanoes make heat, steam and hot water. All over the country are countless onsens, which are sometimes translated into English as Hot Springs.

The Japanese love to go to these hot springs and take long, soaking baths. Indeed, public bathing is so popular, there are baths which are not volcanically heated. These are called sento. Bathing in Japan, like many other cultures, is a social recreation. Also, in many cases, the waters have therapeutic effect on a wide range of disease, including:

So, run on down to your local onsen, and hop in!

How to 'Take a Bath' Japanese style.

The system is pretty much the same, no matter if you go to an Onsen, a Sento or someone's home. Naturally, for someone's home you can skip to the washing part.

Oh! Yes, one last comment. Taking a bath inside is nice, but you haven't lived until you have been to a rotenburo. These are outside baths, sometimes just a walled in area next to a building, but occasionally a completely natural outdoor pool! The latter are sometimes konyoku, (mixed bathing) for those who are interested.

Here is a link on Onsens. It lists several in different parts of Japan.

An English page on Onsens in the Kaga area. Good.

Beppu Info Page (Maybe more famous than Kinugawa, if a lot farther from Tokyo.)

In French I don't parle, but seems to be a question on onsens. Might have more links.

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