Planning your trip to Japan? You need to know about Onsen before you go. The true definition of ‘onsen’ is a hot spring which is over 25℃ that contains 1 of 19 different types of minerals. Japan has many volcanoes around the country thanks to its position on the pacific ring of fire (a place where plate tectonics and volcanic activities are most active). Thanks to this, Japan has 27 thousand hot spring sources, which the Japanese have used to create 10 different types of ‘onsen’. Continue below to learn about them.
Onsen is not just a place to wash your body, it is also a place to relax and to experience toji, which is the local Japanese word for the method of using hot springs to treat particular illnesses. The healing powers of mineral rich spring water is well known in managing rheumatism, hypertension, skin diseases and more. Below are some of the different types of Onsen and the benefits they have on your body.
Mud baths are entire pools filled with mud which people can enter, this draws out impurities from the skin and Relaxes sore muscles and joints. It’s also been known to Improve skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis whilst Relieving pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
As you might have guessed, these Onsens are high in Iron. Bathing in this type of Onsen assists the body to retain heat for longer, great before a cold hike. Furthermore, it replenishes the body’s iron levels, beneficial for people with anaemia.
Alkaline soda hot springs, are locally known for supposedly being good for women. However, this is just because they purify the skin and are indeed great for anyway.
These hot springs are like bathing in a big bowl of sparkling water, rich in carbonation the bubbles form on skin, increasing blood circulation, aiding sleep and relieving pain.
Also known as Zao Onsen, they are very popular at ski and snowboarding resorts. They are known to help with menopausal symptoms and digestive disorders. As well as this sulphur is also linked to treating skin irritations such as rashes and eczema.
That’s right, you read it correctly, Radium. Radium Springs are slightly radioactive but on a miniscule level. Bathing in these waters enhances antioxidant function. As you breath the hot waters steam, radon enters the lungs by breathing, circulates in the blood and stimulates cells throughout the body
In Shikoku, you’ll find a wooden castle which is home to an onsen about 3000 years old. Throughout time it has been mentioned as a favourite hangout for common people, emperors and even Gods. Since this Onsen, many more Onsens have been accidently found by ancient hunters throughout time. As they would track animals far and wide through Japan, they would uncover different varieties of Onsen on their journeys, noting the effects and feelings each one would give them. These Onsens would often come just in time for the hunters, allowing them to recover from intense journeys into the wild. This is why many Onsen’s have sculptures of wild animals inside, reflecting the animal which first led the ancient hunter to find it.
In Japan, this mark means Onsen. Some people at first glance might think it just looks like a bowl of food, indicating a local restaurant. Now you know if your in Japan and you see this mark, follow it and you’ll be sure to experience a wonderful time.
We have numerous jobs on our website which will let you eat and sleep and use the Onsen for free in exchange for 20/30 hours a week of volunteer work. It’s a great way to experience the local culture. Message one of the employers through our website easily today to enquire.