A famous hot spring between mountains, with a long history and rich culture
Yamanaka Onsen, where white steam from hot springs ascends and hot spring inns are lined up along the mountain stream, is a traditional hot spring resort town where it looks appropriate for people to wear yukata (light cotton kimono for summer) and geta (Japanese wooden sandals) and walk on the streets with the sound of wooden soles hitting the road surface. Abundant nature and traditional culture are preserved in the area, visited by many historical poets and writers. Especially among them, Matsuo Basho, the haiku master, stayed in this placed for nine days and praised the hot spring, saying that it “Seeps toward the core of the body and enriches you both physically and mentally.” In nearby Kakusenkei, which is referred to as the most beautiful valley in Hokuriku, there are many sights to be seen, such as Ayatori Bridge, with its unique form, and Korogi Bridge, constructed entirely with cypress lumber. Strolling around the area after bathing in the hot spring is most refreshing.
Although there are hot spring baths in each inn, Kiku No Yu, a public bath, is the place where the local residents relax. Many people gather early in the morning for the first bath of the day. Because the spring of Yamanaka Onsen contains abundant hydrogen, it removes reactive oxygen that causes aging and lifestyle-related diseases, and is said to have anti-aging and anti-obesity effects.
Public bathes like onsen and sento are part of Japanese culture, and have their own morals and manners. Rules for using public baths, such as washing your body before getting in the bath and not putting towels in bath water, can be confirmed in English and other languages in many places. You may feel hesitant at first, but many visitors from abroad have been turning into onsen fans after trying and experiencing the refreshing feeling. Why not give it a go?
- Yamanaka-Onsen, Kaga City, Ishikawa
- 0761-78-0330 (Yamanaka Onsen Tourist Association)
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