onsen

Got tattoos, but still want to experience a Japanese hot spring? It’s no problem here!

At this enlightened facility, the management would rather people gaze at Mt. Fuji than worry about their fellow bathers’ body art.

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Japanese government reveals new hot spring symbol for foreign tourists ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Opinions are divided over the new pictogram for hot springs.

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Japanese “Exorcism Holiday Plan” for dogs helps rid them of bad spirits in their unlucky years

Have your pet feeling rejuvenated both physically and spiritually after a getaway in Japan.

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Japanese government encouraging hot springs to ease tattoo restrictions

Change could lead to a significant increase in foreign visitors, proponents argue.

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Love Capybaras? Now you can take a hot bath while watching them bathe!

Nasu Animal Kingdom to offer an unprecedentedly cutest hot spring experience!

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Low-cost Japanese inn welcomes foreign guests with hot springs, sake tastings, cosplay backdrops

Soak up some Japanese atmosphere without busting your budget.

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Snow falling at Ginzan Hot Spring has Twitter in awe with its otherworldly beauty 【Photos】

No, that’s not a screenshot from a Ghibli Film, it’s real life!

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Japanese netizens shocked by the sight of sumo wrestlers bathing in hot spring

Who says sumo wrestlers can’t be sexy? (Slightly NSFW, but nothing more than you’d see during a typical sumo match.)

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Anime studio’s new Tokyo office building has the ultimate amenity: a natural hot spring!

There aren’t a lot of cushy jobs in the anime industry. Aside from the pressure of having to please fickle fans and meet strict deadlines, most animators in Japan earn a pitiful salary.

Still, almost all anime professionals are also fans, and at the end of the day, being able to contribute to the art form that they love must be worth something. Plus, the employees of one particular anime studio get to enjoy the ultimate after-work perk: a dip in the hot spring that was found in their office building!

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Love Japanese hot springs? At Nakadake Onsen in Hokkaido, you can dig your own!

Two of the best ways to experience the pleasures of rural Japan are a long hike and a leisurely dip in a hot spring, or onsen, as they’re called in Japanese. With the country’s chains of volcanic mountains, there are plenty of spots where you where you can do both in the same day, with onsen resorts often not too far from where mountain trails start or end.

But instead of booking a room in an inn with a hot spring, you can do something even better in this part of Hokkaido by digging your own onsen!

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Tochigi hot spring pyramid first in the world to let you bathe in cosmic energy as well as water

The Egyptian pyramids stand strong in the scorching heat of the desert, as they have for over 4,500 years. It is said that the techniques that went into building them were well beyond those of human civilization at the time. They are mysteries wrapped inside of enigmas that continue to fascinate us from afar.

And apparently there is also a pyramid in Tochigi Prefecture, which really cuts down on the travel expenses for those of us in Japan wanting to bask in their wonder. One such spendthrift adventurer was RocketNews24’s own Masanuki Sunakoma, who went to investigate.

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Oita lures travelers with wonderful montage of synchronized hot spring bathing 【Video】

Japan may be a small country in terms of area, but it certainly makes up for it with 47 distinct prefectures that have their own vibrant personalities. Prefectures like Tokyo and Osaka dominate with their big city lifestyles, while Kyoto and Nara rely on their richly preserved history. Some have festivals that have survived for hundreds of years, others have geological formations that make them stand out or new attractions that you can’t find anywhere else.

For prefectures to separate themselves from the rest and showcase what makes them special, they have to do something grand. In Oita Prefecture, this means presenting their world-famous hot springs with a synchronized swimming team in what can only be known as “synchronized bathing”.

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Turn your cat’s toilet trips into day-spa visits with this adorable “onsen” litter box

While dogs have no trouble emptying their bladders and bowels on busy streets in broad daylight, proudly locking eyes with you as they let rip right there on the pavement, members of the feline world are much more reserved when it comes to answering the call of nature. Even in the comfort of their own homes, kitties need their own space to do their business; no self-respecting cat would want the eyes of their human on them while they’re trying to go.

So it’s no wonder this clever new idea is getting a lot of attention in Japan. It’s the cat onsen, which houses your pet’s kitty litter box and comes complete with a cute spa-style noren curtain to provide some much needed privacy. Once your cat finishes using the kitty litter “sand bath” inside, they’ll emerge looking as fresh as a daisy!

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Japan’s newest hot spring springs forth…from the center of Kobe!

In movies, there’s never anything good hidden in the earth under a structure. It’s all Native American burial grounds, Egyptian mummies, and other assorted other corpses of non-specific ethnicities.

In real life, though, there are all sorts of desirable things waiting beneath the surface, such as oil and gold. An excavation crew in Kobe was looking for something just as good as those two valuable commodities, though: a hot spring, and they found one right in the heart of the city.

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Just how confusing is Japanese onsen culture for a first time visitor?

Onsen etiquette can be confusing for a foreigner visiting for the first time, and there are many small rules and customs that even many Japanese people aren’t quite clear on. There aren’t usually any written instructions around the baths as it is expected that everyone will already know the basic customs surrounding communal bathing. This means that things people who have grown up in Japan take for granted, such as putting your shoes in a locker when you arrive or knowing which towels to use for what, can be hard to figure out for first-timers, and your supposedly relaxing spa break can become a little bit stressful.

Check out the video below to see how our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley navigated her first ever trip to an onsen and see if she found it relaxing…or stressful!

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Soak yourself in 100% pure hot spring water at home for less than 100 yen!

In the land of earthquakes, typhoons, blistering summers and mountains of snow in the winter, Japan’s plentiful and luxurious hot springs are Mother Nature’s way of letting us know that she doesn’t totally hate us.

But the number of true hot springs – where water naturally comes from the ground rather than being pumped in and then heated – is lower than you might imagine. Many places such as the new “hot spring” being built in Shinjuku have their water shipped in from a real hot spring source.

And now, if you live in the Kanto area, you can ship in your own hot spring water too! Why pay entry into some huge complex when you can soak in your own home bathtub away from the leering eyes of RocketNews24 journalists or tattoo-prudes. Oh, and did we mention it’s ridiculously cheap?

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The biggest “natural” hot spring spa in Tokyo is being built now, but what is its “secret?”

Do you love hot springs and spas? How about Tokyo? If so, we have good news for you! A new onsen (hot spring) spa, the largest in Tokyo, is currently under construction right here in beautiful Shinjuku! Even better, it’s set to open at the end of July.

We were so excited about this ginormous new relaxation spot, we sent a writer to check out the new spa, called Thermae-yu, to see how it’s looking these days. Along the way we learned a certain secret that’s not actually a secret, but may disappoint die-hard onsen fans.

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Government begins study into tattoo bans in public baths

On 23 June the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) announced that it would be conducting a first-of-its-kind study into public bathing facilities such as onsen (hot springs) and sento (bath houses), and their rules regarding tattoos.

Visitors to Japan are often warned that if they want to visit one of Japan’s hundreds of natural springs or meticulously designed baths they can’t be inked up. But how widespread is this rule in Japan really, and is it doing more harm than good in this day and age? These are the things the JTA hopes to learn more about in the weeks to come.

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It’s naked time: An American’s first onsen experience 【Video】

Going to an onsen hot spring is one of those quintessentially Japanese experiences that every visitor to the country should have. But is, sadly, an activity many westerners choose to skip for a number of reasons. Coming from a culture where taking a bath with another person is something you really don’t do beyond early childhood, the thought of walking around naked and sitting in a huge bath with a bunch of naked strangers can seem a bit unappealing. I myself was in Japan for two years before I finally decided to take the plunge, but once I did, I was hooked.

Our Japanese writers here at RocketNews24 decided to take a their American pal along for his first onsen experience at the famous Kusatsu Onsen. Find out what he thought of his first ever hot spring soak after the jump.

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Tochiotome 25 invite you to a unique onsen experience in the music video for “Yu”! 【Video】

Tochigi local idol group Tochiotome 25 have once again released a music video showcasing the charms of their rural home town with “Yu” (release date: April 22). This one’s… a little different.

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