How to enjoy the Onsen
Japan is a volcanic country and it has an abundance of volcanic springs, or “Onsen”. From Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south, there are a whole range of different types of Onsen. In Japan Ryokan were built wherever hot springs were found and over time Onsen towns gradually grew up around them.
There are as many as 3,100 Onsen spots around Japan and around 22,000 Onsen facilities. Many tourists come to enjoy bathing in the Onsen while enjoying the unique seasonal views and Onsen scenery. This is because bathing in an Onsen has a relaxing, hyperthermic and hygienic effect, which is very good for the health. The culture of using Onsen for its therapeutic effect as a cure (spa therapy) and as a means of soothing everyday tiredness has established itself as a key part of Japanese culture. Please ensure you get the most out of your stay in Japan by taking a dip in an Onsen.
Onsen history stretches back 3,000-4,000 years. It has been historically documented that Onsen were a part of life during the ancient Greek and Roman eras. The use of Onsen spread across Europe with the expansion of the Roman Empire and it became accepted as a form of medical treatment. In Japan, scientific research was done from the Meiji era onwards (around 1880) into why bathing in Onsen is good for the body.
The phenomenon was given the term “Toji”, which means “hot water cure”. So what exactly are the effects of the Onsen?
The chemical constituents in the Onsen water’s pharmacological components, and physical aspects of the water, such as heat, hydraulic pressure and buoyancy, stimulate the body and enhance natural healing ability. Various effects can be observed.
- Promotion of health, stabilization of automatic nerves (relaxation effect), (massage effect) metabolism, (hyperthermic effect)
- Reinvigoration, recuperation and healing
- Improvement of muscle soreness, neuralgia, joint pain and circulation
- Clear skin, enhanced beauty