Video:Japan Travel: Onsens of Naganowith Megumi Eda
Onsens are hot springs providing an escape for all who visit. Watch this Japan travel video from About.com to learn more about the traditions and hospitality you can find at a Nagano onsen.See Transcript
Transcript:Japan Travel: Onsens of Nagano
Hello, my name is Megumi Eda for About.com, I'm here in Nagano, Ryokan "Jen Pyu Kaku" in Kanbayashi Onsen. Today I'm going to share this Onsen experience with you. Here in Nagano, we are surrounded by mountains and there are many great hot spring towns.
What to Expect Visiting a Nagano Onsen
Spending a night at the onsen/ryokan is one of the most popular activities for us. The experience will include a beautiful traditional tatami room, warm hospitality, delicious homemade local cuisine, and, of course the main activity: a hot spring bath.
When you arrive you will be greeted by the Okami, or house mother. Once inside the ryokan you don't have to wear your street clothes at all, and walking around in a kimono enhances the feeling that you are there to just relax and forget the outside world.
Rules of the Onsens
Of course, the main focus of your stay will be the bathing experience. Although this is all about relaxation, there are some rules rituals that you need to know:
- Like going inside anywhere in Japan, you must remember always to remove your slippers or shoes when entering the changing room.
- Once inside, remove your makeup and take off your clothes and enter the washing area.
- Always, we rinse our bodies in the washing area first.
When you enter the bathing area, you can use the small wash towel provided to cover your privacy. When entering into the water, go slowly entering with your feet first and slowly sink into the water. Some onsens are very hot, and you don't want to shock your body. Now just relax and enjoy the experience and forget about the outside world!
Don't forget, after your bath make sure to drink a lot of water or tea to keep yourself hydrated.
Dining at an Onsen
Almost as important as the Ofuro is the eating experience in a Ryokan. Ryokans in hot spring towns are fiercely competitive about their food - and often this will be the finest dining experience that you will have in Japan, with many delicious courses, and a menu that will feature fresh local specialties.
That's some information about the Onsens of Nagano, to learn more please visit About.com.