Hot Springs in Japan

12 Ottobre 2014

Next time you’re up for a vacation, why not visit Japan? Specifically, the hot springs in Japan. These hot springs represent the single largest sector of the domestic tourism industry, with over 120 million visitors frequenting the more than 3,000 naturally-occurring springs each year. For more than 2,000 years, the Japanese have soothed their bodies, skin and souls at traditional onsens, which are bathhouses centered around various hot springs. The tradition continues to this day!Hot spring baths come in many varieties, indoors and outdoors, gender separated and mixed, developed and undeveloped. Many hot spring baths belong to a ryokan, while others are public bath houses. An overnight stay at a hot spring ryokan is a highly recommended experience to any visitor of Japan.

There are various types of hot springs, which are differentiated by the minerals dissolved in the water. These various minerals provide a range of health benefits, and all hot springs have a relaxing effect on your body and mind. Depending on the spring, different minerals are dissolved in the water, giving it different colors and smells (in addition to the health and skin benefits).

Besides conventional hot water tubs, a popular feature of larger baths are so called waterfalls, which comfortably massage your shoulders if you sit below them. Other bath types include sand baths, where bathers are buried in naturally heated sand, mud baths and steam rooms.Making the most of a bath in these Japanese hot springs is simple. First, remove your clothes and keep a towel nearby. Rinse your body with tap water prior to entering the bath. Next, enter the bath and soak for a while. You may need to enter slowly as the water is very hot. After soaking for a while, emerge from the bath and wash your body with soap and water. Then re-enter the bath and soak some more. When you are finally done, emerge from the bath but do not rinse your body with tap water this time. This allows the hot spring’s water’s minerals to have a full effect on your body.

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