An Onsen (温泉) is a Japanese hot spring and the bathing facilities and inns frequently situated around them. Japan has thousands of onsens scattered throughout all of its major islands.
In accordance with a 1948 Hot spring Law defining onsen, there are over 2,300 recognized hot springs in the Land of the Rising Sun. Indeed, as the aptly named travel writer Anna Hotta notes, such is the number of resorts, if a person went to a different onsen once a week it would take over forty years to visit them all.
In Japan, most hot springs are clustered in volcanic belts in Kyushu and the Tohoku and Chubu regions, activated by four plates across the nation and its surrounding seabeds. Many hot springs come from heated groundwater near volcanoes.
Many hot springs in central Tokyo, and these do not originate from volcanoes. Experts say there is a layer of warm water, heated by the Earth’s core, under southern Kanto. Machines are used to bore for this water so it can be pumped into hot springs baths.
“Onsen in Japanese culture is very important in our daily lives,” says Dr. Yuko Agishi, a leading researcher on the health benefits of onsen. “Especially when it comes to relaxation and stress relief.”
Above you can see Hakkei`s beautiful view in front of Yubara Natural Hot Spring.
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