Hot Springs in Japan

[Hidden World of Peat Springs] Akishigeyu

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Do you know Peat springs?

This means hot springs containing organic substance derived from plants, but it is not an official term.

However, if you trace the roots, surprisingly, you will reach the Napoleonic Wars.

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[Plate Tectonics] Minshuku Boukai, Nanki-shirahama Onsen

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Why do you think hot springs are hot?

If they are in volcanic areas, you may imagine that the magma body heats underground water.

However, it cannot explain scalding hot water gushing in the area where there are no active volcanos nearby.

In fact, movements of plates of the earth create some hot springs.

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[Coal Mine, Nuclear Plant, and Hot Spring] Koito Ryokan, Iwaki-yumoto Onsen

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Do you know the relationship between hot springs and industry?

Iwaki-shi in Fukushima prefecture has been at the mercy of the energy industry.

In ancient times, the city experienced ebb and flow of a coal mine, and today suffers from the reputational damage of the serious accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

It is no coincidence that there are great hot springs in such city.

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[Three Ancient Springs] Hotel Kowakuen, Dogo Onsen

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Does a better-known hot spring provide better water?

Dogo Onsen is famous for being counted as Three Ancient Springs.

However, the amount of water is not so sufficient that you can hardly find free-flowing water.

Let us think about today’s Three Ancient Springs at the almost only one exception, Hotel Kowakuen.

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[Taikan Yokoyama’s Ocean] Izura Kanko Hotel, Izura Onsen

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Do you think it difficult to have a good hot spring in a large-sized hotel?

Indeed, it is usually true, so that small motels with hot springs often provide their water in a better condition.

However, there are some exceptions:

Izura in Ibaragi is one of the most important places for Japanese modern art, and is famous for its beautiful scenery.

In a large-sized hotel at such tourist spot, there is a great hot spring with characteristic smell.

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[Firefly] Hatago Shibiso, Shibi Onsen

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Why do you think that you feel good when you are in an open-air bath?

An open-air bath is almost the only place where you can be naked in outdoor.

By getting naked, you can enjoy the changing seasons in perfect harmony with nature.

There is a hot spring where you can enjoy light of fireflies around rainy season.

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[Debauched Pilgrims] Motoyu, Yoshino Onsen

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Do you associate Yoshino in Nara with cherry blossom viewing?

300 years ago, Mt. Yoshino was also a training site for ascetic pilgrims.

There remains a historical hot spring, where some of them debauched around the water.

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[Triple Enchantment] Ebisuya, Tamanashi Onsen

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Do you know the place where you can enjoy three different hot springs: an Onsen Ryokan and two public baths?

Ebisuya Ryokan is located in the mountains of Aizu area and there are no other inns nearby.

Nonetheless, it is surrounded by two public baths whose nature of the springs is different.

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[Movable Onsen Bazooka] Shogawa-yutani Onsen

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Do you think men’s and women’s bath should be completely separated?

When you are with a partner of the opposite gender, it may be more convenient if you can hear each other’s voice.

At this hot spring, surprisingly, a movable “Onsen Bazooka” is connecting men’s bathroom to women’s one.

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