Monday, May 21, 2007

Natural Onsen

As I said in the last post I went to Nikko over the weekend, and one of the things I wanted to do while I was there was goto an Onsen. Now my past experiences with Onsen have be somewhat mixed, ranging from natural hot springs in the middle of forests, to essentially large bath tubs and given Nikkos reputation for natural beauty I was hoping to find something of the former.

Having been somewhat lazy about organising the trip I just decided to ask at the Tourist information centre which of the onsen are of the more natural kind, and was told about 3. Me and my friends chose the cheapest of these which turned out to be owned by a hotel. That's quite normal here, so I wasn't overly worried. We went there paid our money and were lead to the onsen.

Turns out what the tourist information centre consider natural is in the basement of a building, with no natural light, tiled wall-to-wall, with several rocks to one side of the room and the hot water coming out of a tap. I hate to think what the others were like.

We did find another one while tramping that was about as natural as you can get, some hot puddles in the middle of a swamp. Unfortunately they were only big enough to bathe your feet in, still was nice.

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