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.
Together with the Energy Industry
There are various theories as to Three Ancient Springs.
For over 1,300 years, Iwaki-yumoto has been known as a spa city, and it had a turning point in the late 1800s.
A coal mine was discovered there and well developed due to the close range from Tokyo.
However, the mining cost was expensive mainly because it had to handle hot springs gushing, so that the mine was closed in 1976 in the context of demand decline of coals.
A film “Hula Girls” describes how the employment after the closure was absorbed in tourist businesses.
Source: Iwaki City sightseeing guide
In parallel, the next-generation energy, nuclear provides jobs in this area.
In 2011, however, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a grave accident due to the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake.
There is no significant difference in terms of radiation dose between Tokyo and Iwaki-shi, but the reputational damage as being close to the nuclear plant is so serious that tourist businesses centering on hot springs suffers from it even now.
Milky White Water
Koito Ryokan is an inn known as the good condition of the spring provided.
They do not accept walk-in, and only overnight guests can enjoy the great water.
Walking down the long corridor, you would find the gender-separated bathrooms.
All the tubs are free-flowing, but the water input differs; the open-air bath has the lowest water temperature.
White turbidity was seen only at the indoor bath.
The large tub in the room is divided into two.
The near side is hotter (111 degrees), and the other is around 106 degrees.
The water looks slight greenish milky white, and involves sulfur odor.
Additionally, it has heavy texture due to the high salt content.
The hot springs gushing in the city at the mercy of the energy industry has excellent quality that is true to the name, Three Ancient Springs.
Heavy texture with sulfur odor