Onsen of Japan: Japan's Best Hot Springs and Bath Houses (Paperback)
As a country blessed with natural geothermal energy, no trip to Japan is complete without an authentic onsen (hot spring) experience. Yet this world has remained a mystery to many western travellers, who are keen to take advantage of the onsen's relaxing qualities and healing properties. Onsen of Japan is your entry into art of Japanese communal bathing. Featuring listings for more 2500 onsens across the country, authors Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh have selected out the very best places to enjoy this quintessential Japanese experience – including traditional 7th-century baths, historic wooden buildings, open-air mountain springs, rustic neighbourhood baths, and big city super santos (aquatic centres). Alongside vivid descriptions and beautiful images, each listing includes a checklist with important travel information, such as price range, whether same-sex or mixed bathing is available, whether English is spoken, and if tattoos are accepted. A detailed introduction at the front of the book includes a guide to etiquette, onsen rules, customs and quirks, as well as information on different water types and their healing benefits. The authors also offer tips on how to take a bath like a local, bathing in different seasons, the best places to take a foot bath (ashiyu) or hand bath (teyu), and where you can cook your own onsen egg. Slip off your clothes and ease yourself into the world of the Japanese onsen. One thing is for sure, taking a bath will never be the same again.
Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh have been obsessed with Japan since their first visit in the late 1990s. Since then they have been saving up all their pennies to travel to Japan twice a year. Steve is a passionate writer and DJ, with a local radio show. Michelle is an award-winning book and stationery designer and illustrator. Together they have created all of the text, photography, illustrations and design for this new-age travel guide. This is the third Japan guidebook they've authored, following Tokyo Precincts and Kyoto Pocket Precincts, both of which received wide acclaim.