Must-visit in Japan – Onsen

Although the term sounds vaguely Scandinavian, Onsen is actually a Japanese word. Translated, it means “hot springs”.

A volcanically active country, Japan is home to several thousand onsen. They lay scattered across the country, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists year on year.


Image Courtesy: bittegitte used under the Creative Commons Licence

These Japanese hot springs come in many types and shapes, including outdoor and indoor baths. They are often a central feature of hotels located in the countryside but there are a number of popular establishments found within major cities too. They are a major tourist attraction, drawing Japanese couples or families who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Onsen were traditionally located outdoors. But, of late, they have started to become part of inns that are frequented by weary travellers. They use hot water that’s available all day long, so if you’re a tried tourist is search of relaxation, you can expect a complete spa-like treatment. Indeed, there are many onsen resort hotels that often feature spa baths and artificial waterfalls in the bathing area.

Yudomari seaside onsen

Image Courtesy: JoshBerglund19 used under the Creative Commons Licence

The most beautiful onsen are ones located on the seaside. But some of them which are in the form of baths in hotels are quite lovely too. These outdoor baths are often made from marble organite. The Japanese believe that onsen water has healing powers, and this comes from its mineral content.

With so many enjoyable attributes to marvel at, make sure you include this must-visit in Japan – Onsen – to your itinerary.

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