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Japanese "onsen"


Hot springs in Japan are called "onsen" (温泉). They are located in the very center of Tokyo, and on the outskirts of small towns, and on the territory of temples, and in nature.

The most famous valley of geysers, Owakudani, is located in the Hakone region, at the very foot of the famous Mount Fuji. Here the greatest concentration of “ryokans” - special hotels (旅館) with hydrogen sulfide sources. Sulfur is mined on the territory of the valley itself, and the clear smell of hydrogen sulphide reigns in the air. Nevertheless, here in summer and in winter there is no end of tourists who are striving here to tidy up the body and soul, as well as enjoy the incredible views of the symbol of Japan.

Since Japan is located along the Pacific Fiery Belt, there are more volcanoes on its territory than in the vast majority of countries around the world. Groundwater, which is heated by volcanic activity and is saturated with various kinds of mineral substances, comes to the surface. The inhabitants of the country of the Rising Sun managed to curb the elements, having built guest houses at the site of these underground waters. Sometimes these hotels line up right around a natural pool with hot mineral water. But more often it happens that the water from the source goes through the pipes and the baths of the baths (or “ofuro”) are filled with it. Part of the baths is located under the open sky, so that a person can fully relax both physically and mentally, contemplating the surrounding nature. From the fact that you are sitting in hot water, and the snow is falling from above, the sensations are simply indescribable! 

There are no canons as such, according to which all hot springs are arranged as standard. All this is solely at the discretion of the owner. Although there are some mandatory things. For example, when a guest arrives, he removes his clothes and changes into a yukata (casual cotton kimono). Immediately before entering the baths, he should wash himself thoroughly, because, as the Japanese themselves say, the thermal springs do not exist to wash in, but to relax. 

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