Onsen bath? Does it seem crazy to you to be naked in front of other people? We, from JP Guide, believe that the most incredible thing about living in a different country is experiencing their culture. And as onsen is part of Japanese custom, in today’s text, we will write about one of the most famous cities for its spas, Kusatsu.
First of all, it’s worth explaining that onsen bath is not as crazy as many people think. The reason why onsen is part of a Japanese habit comes from a few decades ago. Studies report that this custom began when most of the houses did not have a bath or shower and the population bathed in public bathing places, which at that time, was with normal water. Therefore, with the passage of time and adaptations, water came to come from natural hot springs, arising then the well-known onsen, cultivated until the present day in the country in its spas.
The city of Kusatsu, located in Gunma, is being known worldwide as one of the most famous resorts in Japan, the merit comes, firstly, to have one of the largest hot springs, the Yubatake, which means “hot water field” because of its cooling system formed by wooden ducts in form of boxes that seem to scoop all the water, being dumped from its source, about five thousand liters of water per minute at 70 degrees Celsius, earning then, its reputation of one of the most abundant hot springs in the entire Archipelago. More than that, on the West Side of Kusatsu, there is an amazing park full of streams where its main ground arose after intense volcanic activities, which give off an impressive amount of clouds of water vapor, where already cooled, all hot water is channeled towards the largest Kusatsu onsen, which looks like a swimming pool and is very popular with local people.
Moreover, because Kusatsu is a city whose part of tourism is dedicated to the culture of the onsen, there is a museum, called Netsunoyu, that reports exactly how the water coming from the hot springs was cooled, besides the Memorial Hall Erwin von Bälz, an exhibition hall of innumerous discoveries and achievements of the German doctor, Erwin von Bälz, who was the first to describe Kusatsu hot springs as one of the best medicinal resorts in the world.
And finally, in order to break the paradigm, it is worth remembering that the association of onsen as a synonym of old-age hobby, is not true. It is common to see kids, teenagers and adults bathing in onsen, once they believe that there are several benefits to the body when bathing in this mineral water, coming from the source, such as curing chronic diseases for example.