Things To Do
- hot spring
Experience going to Onsen!
What you must never miss experiencing in Japanese culture is taking bath in hot spring!!!
*Hot spring is called “Onsen” in Japanese
Onsen is how we call hot spring in Japanese. Even the oldest chronicles of Japan has mentioned about Onsen, which was written almost 1400 years ago. This helps you understand how old the history of Onsen is in Japan. Japanese people take bath everyday using the wooden Japanese style bathtub(modern houses have acrylic made) and do love visiting Onsen once in a while and take bath in the bath made from cypress wood. In Western countries, just taking shower is the most common way. Moreover, some apartments don’t even have a bath tub. However in Japan, no apartments lack bathtub even though japan posses such a tiny portions of land. I have an experience of studying abroad in America for 10 months and not being able to use a bathtub was what I missed the most.
*Difference between a hot spring and just a bath
I mentioned that using bathtub taking a bath is our culture, but a bath and hot spring are completely different. A bath is just filled with hot water but hot spring has a lot of natural mineral or gas in the water which improves your health. Each Onsen has different effects, like for your sour mussels, neuralgia, high blood pressure, or even disease of digestive system. That’s why Japanese people go to Onsen a lot, not only for relaxation but also for their health.
*You don’t need to take all your clothes off
Some of you might think that you don’t want to take all your clothes off in front of many strangers when you take a hot spring bath. However, there is a way you can enjoy it without being hesitant.
—>This is a private hot spring bath that you can borrow from the hotel when you want to enjoy it by yourself. It is also available to use with your friends, lover, or family. You can just enjoy it with someone you know in the private space.
—>This is one of foot baths. Some hot spring districts have foot baths that are available for everyone on the street. You can just insert your foot in the small bath and feel the warmth of what Onsen is like. Some places provide hand towels but it would be better if you carry yourself one just in case.
*There are famous Onsens also in Kyoto
Of course, Kyoto has Onsens and Ryokans, a Japanese style hotel. The most popular ones are in Arashiyama and Kurama. Both areas are very well-known as sightseeing spots in Kyoto. Especially, a lot of tourists visit here to see Japanese maple leaves changing their color in fall. Imagine, you can completely be relaxed in a hot spring and see such colorful leaves amongst the beautiful scenery. How nice it is!
Please try to experience our Japanese culture, the hot spring in many ways! You will get your body and heart warmed up.
Arashiyama, Culture, fall, hot spring, Kurama, Onsen, sightseeing