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Sustainable Travel Experiences in JAPAN
Healing Powers of Hot Springs
Healing Powers of Hot Springs
There are 1,552 known volcanoes worldwide, and 111 of them are in Japan. It’s these mighty, primeval vents, rising from the two volcanic belts that run northeast and southwest across Honshu, Japan’s main island, that heat the thousands of onsen (hot springs) located in Japan that are considered a blessing from nature. Japanese people have bathed in these waters to seek purification and relaxation since time immemorial, and there are many different types. Yet a visit to an onsen is much more than an opportunity to bathe. Hot spring towns are renowned throughout Japan for their lively yet relaxing atmosphere and stunning natural scenery. Many onsen also provide superb accommodation facilities. Onsen have been an essential part of Japanese life since ancient times because of the abundance of resources they offer and are still a major draw for travelers today.
Luxuriate and relax at Dogo Onsen, one of Japan’s oldest hot springs
This heralded cultural property remains a popular public bath house
Constructed in 1894, Dogo Onsen Honkan (the main building out of many) has been designated an Important Cultural Property and acquired many other accolades, including three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan. The building is stunning—you’ll be blown away by the attention to detail on both its facade and interior. The decor is almost unchanged from when it was constructed: traditional paper and wood panels separate the spaces, blue and white tile motifs adorn the walls and winding staircases transport you to another time altogether. The hot spring remains a regularly operating public bath house loved by the local community. In total, 18 springs of different temperatures provide the water to Dogo Onsen Honkan, generating a mix that is kind to sensitive skin and packed with nutrients. Soak in the luxurious spring water and take in the building’s historical architecture for an inspired bath house cultural experience.
Escape to Hoshino Resorts’ KAI Tamatsukuri, a modern ryokan with private hot springs
Located near the Daisen-Oki National Park and Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark, KAI Tamatsukuri is a stunning resort within Tamatsukuri Onsen—an ancient town famed for its hot spring that has been alluring visitors for over 1,300 years. The hot spring takes center stage at the resort too, with each room housing an open-air bath fueled by the waters. A luxuriating soak here provides a true restorative experience thanks to the characteristics and effects of this incredible natural spring water. KAI Tamatsukuri is contemporary, luxurious and elegant, but much thought has gone into preserving the resort’s traditional character, inspired by the quintessential Japanese inn, or ryokan. Expect unrivaled hospitality, enjoy local cultural performances in the evenings and dine on exquisite dishes prepared using local seafood specialties, such as snow crab. KAI Tamatsukuri also promotes sustainability efforts including recycling toothbrushes used by guests, disposing of plastic bottles and working towards minimizing environmental impact.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Tamatsukuri (Formerly KAI Izumo)