Leisure Traditional Culture

Onsen (hot spring)

You can’t beat “it” when it comes to the relaxation of both body and mind

What do you think of “it“?    Yes, that’s – -it’s ” Onsen (hot spring)“, or “spa“.

Hi everyone how’s your health?   Today’s topic is “Onsen”,as we mentioned above, there is nothing on earth more than Onsen when you are tired or under the weather and you want try to relax yourself.

Onsen is a hot natural spring and is very popular and typical “Cool Japan”.

Onsen,hot spring
Onsen and Mt.Fuji seen in the background

No matter where you go in Japan, you can find hot springs. These places where geothermally heated water wells up have been enjoying by Japanese people since ancient times.

Currently there are more than 3,000 hot spring resorts in Japan. In addition, more and more new hot springs are being drilled each year.

The large number of hot springs is closely correlated with the country’s many volcanoes. The hot water mainly wells up in the vicinity of volcanoes.


Why do the Onsen have specific health benefits?

Many onsen contain certain dissolved minerals, such as sulphur, iron and calcium, which are said to help heal illness or injuries. Moreover, The minerals are believed to help promoting blood circulation or recovery from fatigue.

What is a typical trip to the hot spring resort like?

Most people stay for a night or two at lodgings located close to the hot spring. During their stay, they wear the casual cotton kimono, and enjoy meals featuring local specialities. And it’s not unusual to soak in the hot spring baths several times each day.

The baths come in two types: indoor ones called uchiyu, and outdoor ones called sotoyu. Sotoyu outdoor baths, also known as rotenburo (open-air bath), are highly popular. A great variety of rotenburo can be found all over the country.


This seashore hot spring, which allows you to relish the great outdoors, actually appears only at low tide.


This one is located in the middle of nowhere, deep in the snow country.


Listening to the sound of birds, warbler in particular or the murmuring of a stream, bathers can take in beautiful mountain, especially like leaves on fire in autumn. This sense of communing with nature is what makes rotenburo so special.

hot spring

There’s also a unique practice that involves hot springs. People stay for extended periods at hot spring inns to recover their strength or cure their ailments. Thi is known as toji

To improve their physical health, some people even stay for several months. There are usually kitchen facilities available, and many of the guest cook their own meals. Besides reducing food expenses, this allows guests to cook the kind of dishes best suited to their personal nutritional needs.

hot spring

These toji lodgins provide the setting for social interaction where guest can develop deep friendships and share useful tips. In all these different ways, Japanese people have long enjoyed hot springs.

hot spring

Why don’t you try these hot springs by all means while in Japan? I’m afraid, however, there seems to be one drawback there for those particularly who are not used to be naked wholely in public.

But there’s no worry and also it’s against the custom at all that if you cover your private place with towel or something. Anyway, no need to be embarrassed even if you expose your whole body in public as everybody naked there, and everybody happy, happy with laughing・・Have a good time!

hot spring

Finally, I wish you would visit another related blog, “「Konyoku」Mixed Bathing Might BeOn The Verge Of Extinction?“, thanks

About the author

古林 茂樹(Shigeki Furubayashi )