Looking for a relaxing liberation from the winter months? Do as the Japanese do and head to a hot spring resort. Narrowing down your options can be as difficult or as easy as landing on a locale within the country. Nagato is known for its hot spring culture, views of the Otozure River and quaint village life. If this Western region happens to be where you’re headed, let this list be your guide.
See the local sites by day, including the famous Motonosumi Shrine, before warming up and relaxing in a hot bath. Located along the Otozure River, Nagato Hot Spring offers a quiet local town for visitors to explore outside, and alkaline hot spring waters within. Visit the old-fashioned public bath and let the soothing effects wash over you. Believed to reduce muscle, joint and nerve pain, guests eagerly find time to make their way to the hot springs. They even have an arcade and bowling alley, open until midnight.
Enjoy the retro-style wooden inns lining the historic town surrounding Tawarayama Onsen, or hot spring. The bubbling waters of the therapeutic bath offer guests all the same alkaline waters and holistic benefits, but with an added touch of whimsy — wooden clogs clopping to and from the bath.
With incredible views of the Yuya Bay, the onsen is just an added benefit. Relax in peace watching the sun rise or set on the property and relieve stress, while promoting good health and circulation by the warm waters of the spring.
Enjoy karaoke booths, tennis matches, local seafood, a sauna and, of course, outdoor baths. Believed to be discovered in ancient times, Yumen Onsen was named for the legend of a rabbit healing wounds — as the hot springs are believed to aid skin diseases and improve health.
Enjoy the all-natural look of the Kiwado Hot Springs, with views of the water from the water. After a day of hiking the Kita Nagato Coast National Park where the hot springs are located, guests can unwind and rest weary muscles with a view of the Fukawa Bay.
Typically, in Japanese tradition, hot springs can be an all-natural experience — meaning no swim suits. Check with the hot spring that catches your eye; if they go along the traditional rules, you can pack less in your carry-on.
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