Translated by Greg
See Japan In Videos - 4 Special Hot Spring Areas In Japan
From Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, there are countless hot springs in every region of Japan. In today's article we feature four hot spring locations, each with its own distinct characters, long traditions and rich history.
Written by MATCHA-PR
In Japan there are onsen (hot springs) in every region, from Hokkaido in the north all the way down to Okinawa in the south. Each hot spring has its own characteristic flavor and rich tradition, and the health benefits derived from stepping into one differ from place to place.
If you're interested in giving a hot spring a try, we highly recommend doing some preliminary research before choosing one that best suits your individual needs. Today we'll introduce four hot springs along with their videos and other useful information. You'll soon see that each place has it's own special character and flavor in addition to a long tradition and rich history.
1. Ehime's Dogo Onsen - Japan's Oldest Hot Spring
Ehime prefecture's Dogo Onsen, said to be Japan's oldest hot spring, even appeared in the book of classical Japanese history, Nihon Shoki (The Chronicles of Japan) as early as the 8th century. Every morning at 6 am in the hot spring's symbolic main building, the sound of taiko drums can be heard announcing the start to a new business day.
A famous legend that still remains at Dogo Onsen is the story of the white heron whose injured leg was healed by the soothing waters of the hot spring. The alkaline waters of the hot spring are gentle to the body and are said to have healing powers and beauty-enhancing properties.
In addition to dipping into the hot spring there are numerous ways to enjoy yourself; relaxing in your yukata as you enjoy the tasty tea and cakes on the second floor of the main hall, or perhaps just sitting back and taking a well deserved break in the privacy of your own room.
Loved by visitors and locals alike for all there years, how about savoring the nostalgic atmosphere of Dogo Onsen's main building?
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama city, Dogo Tako-cho 6-8
Website: Dogo Onsen (Japanese)
2. Kagoshima's Ibusuki Onsen - A Hot Spring With Sand?
Change into a yukata (robe), lay down on the beach, and while listening to the sound of the incoming waves fully enjoy this hot spring.
At Sunamushi Onsen in Ibusuki city, one of Japan's foremost onsen areas, the experience that awaits you is a truly unique one, even in the world of hot springs.
Here the naturally occuring hot sand will soon heat up your body. Dressed in your yukata, sand will be piled up over your body by the hot spring staff, and soon your body will start feeling warm.
Afterwards, you can wash off any excess sand and the resulting sweat in a nearby pool, which leaving you feeling totally relaxed and refreshed. Visitors from outside Japan also converge non-stop on this highly popular tourist spot.
Ibusuki Sunamushi Onsen
Address: Kagoshima, Ibusuki city, Yunohama 5-25-18
Website: Ibusuki Sunamushi Onsen
3. Yamaguchi's Yumoto Onsen - Popular With Dignitaries
Yumoto Onsen has a history spanning 600 years, and is said to be the oldest hot spring in Yamaguchi prefecture. The Yumoto Onsen area is dotted with many onsen resorts, and one resort in particular, the venerable Otani Sanso, hosted Russian president Vladimir Putin during the Japan-Russia Summit Talks held in December of 2016.
Address: Yamaguchi, Nagato city, Fukawayumoto
Website: Yumoto Onsen (Japanese)
4. Tochigi's Tosho Onsen - Enjoy a Yuzu-Filled Hot Spring
The winter solstice, the longest night of the year. In Japan during the winter solstice, there is a custom of placing yuzu (citrus fruit) in the bath, so that people can submerge themselves in this 'yuzu water'.
On the day of the winter solstice in 2016, a special event was held at Tosho Onsen in Tochigi prefecture's Nikko city. Looking ahead to, and anticipating the approaching new year of 2017, a total of 2017 yuzu citrus fruit and 21 of Japan's largest variety of yuzu (banpeiyu) measuring 30 centimeters in diameter, were set afloat in Tosho Onsen's huge rotemburo, or open-air bath.
Be sure to watch the video showing the hundreds of yuzu bobbing on the surface of the water!
Everyone at Tosho Onsen would like to invite all of you to come and enjoy the one hot spring in Japan that has the most yuzu floating in it.
Address: Tochigi, Nikko city, Owatari
Website: Nikko Kinugawa Travel Guide
On video you've seen the wide variety of Japanese onsen; from hot springs where you lay in the sand to ones where you can bathe with the sweet aroma of yuzu gently drifting in the air.
Were there any hot springs that you already knew about or was this the first time for you to hear about them? If it was the first time to learn about these places or if you've never been there, by all means please try to visit some of them.
Your hot spring adventure here in Japan has just started and will be one that simply can't be duplicated anywhere else!
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