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Hot springs in Japan

Staying at a hot spring inn is one of the best ways to travel in Japan, and it's the ultimate way to relax

Onsen Trip: Travel for total relaxation of body and mind 


Hot springs and the bathing facilities that are built around them are called “onsen” in Japanese. Japan has a deeply rooted bathing culture, and it is commonly thought that bathing in an onsen gives your well-being a significant boost. Going to an onsen will definitely be a learning experience, and it is important to know how to bathe in Japan


The natural composition, as well as the benefits of the water, vary from area to area. The claim to fame for onsen is their serene aesthetic focused on nature. Many onsen offer a nice view and some are even open-air baths (rotenburo). In addition, there are also unique sand baths and outdoor foot baths if you don’t want a full body soak. 


Some things to keep in mind are the symbols associated with onsen as it may not be obvious. Both the hiragana character “ゆ” as well as an emoji that includes a semi-circle representing the bath, with three curved vertical lines representing the steam, are symbols for onsen in Japan. Once you get into the facility, there is usually a men’s and women's bathing section, so keep an eye out for the kanji characters 女 which means “Women,” and 男 which means “Men.”  



Another important thing to know is that some onsen have a no tattoo policy. However, times are changing and there are actually more onsen that allow tattoos now than ever. You may be able to get into an onsen that doesn't allow tattoos if you can cover your tattoos with some sort of sticker or patch, though it is best to check with the facility in advance about whether this is okay or not. 


Bathing etiquette promotes a feel-good experience for everyone, and all will be well if you are aware of your surroundings and considerate to those around you. Check out this article if you want to learn more about bathing manners and tips. 


If you want the ultimate onsen experience, you will want to stay at a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn. Most of them have onsen and are very focused on the onsen aspect of the stay. There are many luxurious ryokan that even have private onsen in the rooms, which is perfect for a romantic getaway. Staying at a ryokan allows you to enjoy the local cuisine and see the local sights at your own pace, making for an all-around relaxing and refreshing experience. 


Onsen in Shikoku

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