Keeping Warm during the Cold of Winter!

Keeping Warm during the Cold of Winter!
October is coming to a close, and the winter cold creeps in little by little with every passing day. An onsen (“hot spring”) visit is a winter tradition in Japan, and from November onwards they attract many visitors, and. So now we’d like to tell you about some of Japan’s scenic onsen, hot spring resorts where you can enjoy not only the warmth of the spring water but also the splendid surroundings.

Yufuin Onsen(Oita)

The first place we’ll introduce is Yufuin Onsen in Oita Prefecture. Located in the foothills of gorgeous Mount Yufu, this onsen resort is rich in natural beauty, popular not only in Japan but also internationally.
To gaze up at the towering peaks of Mount Yufu as you bathe in the hot springs is, in a word, luxurious. Here, you can enjoy a Japanese-style onsen in a prime location. The hot spring is located in Yufu City’s Yufucho, which is lined with enough small stores and cafes to make for a new discovery every visit. Let a stroll around the neighborhood complete your hot springs experience.

Kusatsu Onsen(Gunma)

The next onsen is one of Japan’s three great hot springs—Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture. Pictured is a yubatake (a facility for collecting yunohana, the precipitate of minerals dissolved in the hot spring water), which has become famous in and of itself.
In addition to the yubatake, there’s also a yumomi show where they cool down the hot spring water, ashiyu (“footbaths”) for soaking your feet, and other attractions. This is a great place for those who are looking for something more than just a dip in a hot spring.

Dogo Onsen(Aichi)

Our third selection is Dogo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture. With over 3,000 years of history, it is said to be Japan’s oldest hot spring. What’s more, the facilities at this onsen are the only ones in all of Shikoku to have earned the Michelin Guide’s coveted 3 star rating. The water welling up here is incredibly soft and has been used for spa therapy since ancient times. Visit Dogo if you’d like to feel a sense of history as you soothe yourself in the hot spring waters.

Ginzan Onsen(Yamagata)

Our fourth selection is Yamagata Prefecture’s Ginzan Onsen. This hot spring town was used as a setting for “Oshin”, a Japanese television miniseries that was broadcast globally. Located in one of Japan’s few regions with heavy snowfall every year, during winter the snow-covered inns are bathed in the orange glow of gas lamps, making for a magical scene.
In the midst of numbing cold, bathing in a hot spring is truly a blissful moment. Steeped in a nostalgic atmosphere, we recommend gazing out at the magnificent winter landscapes from a rotemburo open-air bath.

Kinosaki Onsen(Hyogo)

Last on our list is Kinosaki Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture. With 1,300 years of history, it’s said this onsen was discovered when a stork was found to have cured its wounds in the hot spring’s waters.
There is a tradition in Kinosaki called sotoyu-meguri, where travelers choose a yukata (casual kimono) at their inn and then walk around the town for a tour of all the hot springs. Once you have checked in at your ryokan, change into a yukata then let your geta (wooden sandals) clack along the streets as you sample the town’s seven hot springs. Even in the cold of winter, it’s a delight to get dressed up and wander through the streets of this charming onsen resort.



What did you think of our selection of scenic onsen? In the dead of winter, a hot spring is just the thing to keep the numbing cold away. This winter, why not enjoy snowy landscapes while submerged in the luxuriously warming waters of Japan’s onsen resorts.


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