There’s no nation in the world that loves hot springs more than Japan. Known as onsen (lit. warm 温, and spring 泉), there are very few Japanese alive who could ever claim to having never taken a dip. If you’re tired, you head to the onsen; if you’re going on holiday, you visit an onsen; you go to the onsen to hang out with your friends, on a date, to relax with the family – anything is an excuse to strip off and let the hot water soak your aches, pains and worries away!
But onsen actually exist all over the world, even in America. Today our Japanese reporter Yoshio reports on his stay at a hot spring hotel in America, and his experiences in their natural sulfur spa. Let’s find out if the US’s version of the hot spa stands up to our reporter’s rigorous testing…
- Where to find it
This hot spring can be found in Lake Elsinore, California. It takes around an hour and a half by car from Los Angeles, and just under two hours from San Diego. It’s only reachable by car, so if you’re travelling from abroad be sure to rent a car somewhere!
- Excellent quality water
The name of the hotel is House of Siloam. The best thing about the place is definitely the high quality of the hot spring water. They use pure natural sulfur hot spring water that spurts out from underground, which is kind of gooey and smells a bit, well, sulfurous. It might not sound appealing, but in hot spring terms these are very good things!! As soon as you get in your skin feels completely moisturized. Is this even better than a Japanese onsen!?
- 100 percent natural
For all those organic health nuts out there, this hot-spring uses 100 percent natural water. The heated groundwater is also used in the baths and sinks in the hotel rooms. So if you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face, you’re safe in the knowledge that it’s all natural, coming straight from the earth. It’s a truly authentic hot-spring hotel!
- The onsen was awesome, but the rooms…
Despite being so impressed with the hot-spring, there’s one thing I have to point out. The rooms weren’t exactly what I would call clean. They were pretty dusty, and the fridge in the kitchen didn’t look like it had been cleaned in quite a while. It wasn’t a five-star place, let’s put it that way.
- Take a day trip!
Overall, my recommendation would be that you take a day trip there. It’s a little expensive to stay over, but if you’re going just for the hot spring, the price is just right. And you can use Japanese there too!
Name: House of Siloam
Address: 215 West Graham Avenue Lake Elsinore,
Pricing: 1 room $80~120
Onsen day price: Weekdays $15/person Holidays $20/person