Although we do not have this custom here in Brazil, in Japan it is a common practice to visit a hot spring. At onsen, as they are called in Japan, they are relaxing, and the country's culture is almost a tradition that they have in bathing in these places.
Of course, you don't want to relax in warm water. And the best, a water that is good for health. It must be wonderful, of course it is good not to overdo it, after all, we are still human and the hot water can make you dizzy and cause you to faint, but anyway.
The fact is that if you are going to visit Japan, you must not forget to visit a good hot spring. And this list is here to help you when choosing the best one to visit. A list with some of the best hot springs in Japan.
Ibusuki Onsen - Volcanic sand heat
Ibusuki Onsen (指宿温泉) It is a group of hot springs in eastern Ibusuki, Kagoshima. This group includes Surigahama Onsen, Yajigayu Onsene Nigatsuden Onsen. There are almost 1,000 springs with thermal waters spouting at 50-60 ℃, but sometimes temperatures can reach 100 ℃.
The main attraction of the Ibusuki Onsen is the Bathing in the sand (Sunamushi). Visitors wear a Yukata and are buried with volcanic sand up to their necks. The weight and heat of the sand (about 50 to 55 ° C) stimulates blood circulation, and in about 10 minutes, the whole body begins to perspire. It is a pleasant and relaxing sensation for all ages.
In addition to bathing in the sand, as in any onsen you can enjoy the hot springs and take that relaxing bath in the hot springs. Another attraction present in Ibusuki Onsen is the Scheldt and the sauna. There are more than 15 Onsen in the city of Ibusuki.
Nearby in Nagasakibana there is also a theme park “Flower Park Kagoshima”, with 400 different types of plants for you to enjoy in each season. There you can also enjoy delicious and the shows presented by orangutans and flamingos.
Below is a video showing a little bit of Ibusuki Onsen and the bath in the sand.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan
The hotel Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan it is considered the oldest hotel in the world. It is located in Hayakawa, in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Thus joining the Guinness book, with over 1300 activities.
The onsen hotel has remained in the same family for more than 50 generations. Serving from ancient samurai to modern tourists. We will then learn a little more about the oldest hotel in the world in operation.
Fujiwara Mahito a Japanese aristocrat in 705 AD founded this hotel. It was well known at the time as a resort, because of the natural hot springs. This attracted many visitors from many different regions. Serving as a stay for both bureaucrats, shoguns (Emperor general who commanded the army) even for samurai delegations.
From the beginning, the establishment has been passed down by the founding family through the ages. By then, 52 generations have taken care and operated the inn. And, as time passed, each generation slowly modernized it. Today the place has become a four-star luxury hotel.
A major renovation took place in 1997, but its appearance remained almost unchanged. The hotel has about 35 rooms and can accommodate up to 130 guests. It is available for those who wish to stay in rooms with air conditioning, moon and star observation platform, outdoor baths and even a karaoke.
Even with all the modernities introduced, the establishment keeps traditions alive like the traditional tatami mats. In addition to a restaurant, which serves on the menu typical local foods such as koshu meat.
Other highlights of Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan are the attractions around it, such as Mount Fuji and the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Rooms range from 30,000 to 60,000 yen.
Kusatsu is considered the first hot spring in Japan and is possibly one of the regions that contains the most famous hot springs. It is located in Gunma, north of Tokyo. It won from thousands of other hot springs and won first place in the 31st ranking of the 100 best hot springs in Japan.
It is the fifteenth consecutive year that Kusatsu has won first place, an impressive feat, given the large number of hot springs in Japan. As this region is located in the mountains, it is also famous for welcoming visitors to ski in the winter and for welcoming people who enjoy hiking.
Kusatsu is well known for the quality of its thermal waters, and as they have a large volume, they are able to supply water to other regions as well. There is a symbolic installation called Yubatake (hot water field), which is one of the main hot springs in the area.
This hot spring area is very lively. You can visit several hot springs for free and also enjoy shopping at variety stores. There are nice resort inns, hotels and cafes around the city.
Hakone hot spring
It is one of the most popular areas of thermal waters. It is located just an hour and a half from Tokyo by car or train. There are many spa facilities that you can easily go to and many shops to buy souvenirs.
Along the two rivers called Hayakawa River and Sukumogawa River, there is a wide variety of historic and well-established accommodation styles or purely Japanese homey style.
You can also stay in one of the many ryokan or resort hotels nearby, as many of them include their own private hot spring. Ryokan are traditional Japanese lodgings, where you sleep on a futon, on the tatami and breakfast and typical dinners are included.
It is located in Oita, in the east of the main island in southern Japan, Kyushu. The city of Beppu in Oita is home to eight main hot springs, collectively known as Beppu Hatto ("hatto" literally means "eight waters"), each equipped with public toilets and a ryokan with bath facilities.
Together the city's eight hot springs produce a greater volume of water than any other hot spring resort in Japan. There is a famous tour called Beppu Jigoku Meguri (Beppu Hell Tour) in which visitors can see different types of Jigoku hot springs.
Among them are Hell of the Sea, Hell of the Blood Lagoon, Hell of the White Lagoon and Hell of the Tornado. At the end of the tour, visitors can even have their special eggs that are steamed or boiled in the hot spring water.
In addition to the great abundance of its waters, the other highlight of the Beppu hot springs is its variety - as well as more conventional hot water baths, bathers can also enjoy the benefits of more unusual dives in sand baths, mud and steam baths. .
In addition to bathing in the traditional hot spring, bathers can enjoy sand baths, in which it is possible to cover themselves with naturally heated sands; steam baths; and mud baths.
Surrounded by the mountains of Kyushu (southern Japan), the most prominent view of this onsen is that of the twin peaks of Mount Yufu, which draw a stunning outdoor picture. Yufuin, about ten kilometers inland from Beppu, is a pleasant rural town.
During your stay, you can delight in the many boutiques, art museums and cafés in the city center. It is a beautiful area to take a walk during the day. Yufuin is surrounded by traditional landscapes of rustic farms and tranquil rice paddies.
Bathing and strolling are the two main activities in the city and many travelers visit Yufuin just to stroll through the city during the day. There are ryokans scattered throughout the city, many of which open their onsen to guests during the day.
In many surveys it was voted as the best hot spring in the Kyushu Mountains. The accommodations are located in the rural area for visitors to enjoy an even more fantastic landscape and an unforgettable stay.
As Yufuin is located close to a much larger and busier hot spring area called Beppu, Yufuin is a great choice for those looking for a beautiful and less touristy hot spring resort area.
Noboribetsu is considered the best hot spring resort on the island of Hokkaido, in the north of the country. A large amount of water supplies the city's various types of hot springs in a volcanic valley above the city that has earned the nickname Jigokudani (“Hell's Valley”), for its spectacular active volcanic scenery.
A curiosity, the water and steam that come out of the numerous cracks and the cracks in the valley are so hot that it was once said that they were inhabited by Japanese oni, demons or ogres. It was believed that only demons could survive the valley's suffocating temperatures and hostile environment.
The waters in your thermal baths contain sulfur and hydrogen sulfide, which are known to make your skin softer and lighten your skin, as well as iron, which reduces fatigue. The minerals in the water paint the surrounding landscape, making it at least peculiar.
Hokkaido is a beautiful travel destination for both its stunning scenery and delicious local cuisine. When in Hokkaido, you should definitely stop at some hot spring area in the region.
There are nine types of hot springs in Noboribetsu, each with unique properties. For example, there are sources of sulfur, which are known to help with chronic bronchitis, hardening of the arteries and chronic dermatitis. There is also a source of iron that is known to help with anemia and chronic eczema.
In the area, it is still possible to visit a historic park, a bear park and a marine park. It is a stunning place to visit in the spring with cherry blossoms.
Did you choose your hot spring?
Of course, these are not even close to being all onsen in Japan. The country has a large amount of onsen, whether artificial or natural with these listed. But the point is that you can't miss visiting one of them.
Hot spring is a registered trademark of Japan. Perhaps because it is a tradition, or because the country is rich in these natural beauty, we are not sure. However, what we do know is that tourists from all over the world go to Japan exclusively to visit Japan's hot springs.
So, take advantage of this list to organize your travel schedule, and visit a hot spring.