The Onsen in Japan are spa where you can receive treatments based on water coming from volcanic underground.
The land of Japan sits right on a volcanic belt and this geographic characteristic allows many volcanic hot springs to emerge out from its earth. It is said that there are over 3,000 hot spring locations nationwide.
Since the old times, the Japanese people used hot springs for medical reasons such as to nurse their wounds or cure various diseases. This soon was given the name “Toji,” or therapeutic bathing. In therapeutic bathing, people stay at a certain hot spring resort over a long period of time for regular bathing and taking plenty of time to conduct hot spring therapy.
Therefore, it is considered to be very different from enjoying hot springs for tourism purposes.
First, when you get in an onsen, you walk in a zone called “kakeyu“, that means the shower area, to accustom the body to high temperatures and keep the water clean. Most onsen are divided by sex but there are also mixed.
Once you can get washed, you can enter in the onsen, but slowly and without sketches, because they are places for relaxation. You should come out periodically from the hot water because your body does not suffer from too much heat. In the onsen is not required a costume, you will receive a large towel and a little one, so you can dry and settle.
Some onsen are outdoors and are called rotenburo.
Nowadays, hot springs are mainly used for relieving everyday stress or for purposes that has to do with tourism. Additionally, hot-spring hotels are considered as a space offering extraordinary experiences where people can leisurely enjoy bathing and relax.