The Tokai region is made up of the 4 prefectures of Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, and Mie, and is a famous region for hot springs. Here are 5 particularly recommended hot springs in the area for you to consider.
1. Atami Onsen (Shizuoka)
This is a famous onsen (hot spring) region that has a history dating back to the Nara era (710 - 794). It's a popular area for sightseeing as well as vacation homes since it has a warm climate and lush nature. The water that wells up is abundant and has weak alkaline properties, which softens skin. Of course, you can enjoy the water if you stay at places like ryokan (traditional inn), but there are also many facilities where you can go for a day trip, so it's very easy to leisurely stop by. There are public baths that retain a traditional atmosphere, so please enjoy those as well.
2. Ito Onsen (Shizuoka)
This historical onsen region is said to have been in use since the Heian period (794 - 1185). It's one of the country's foremost (and Shizuoka's top) onsen with 31,520 liters of water welling every minute. Within the area are more than 150 lodging facilities including ryokan, resort hotels, and pensions, and many of them offer day-trip packages. There are 8 public baths that the locals use as well. The water is mostly simple thermal hot spring which is good for various symptoms like rheumatism and external wounds or weak sodium chloride spring, which is known for being insulating. Both will help soften your skin, and are easy to bathe in for the majority of people.
3. Gero Onsen (Gifu)
Gero Onsen is known as one of Japan's top three onsen. It's centered around the Hida River, and is a merry, lively place that fits right in with the simplicity of the mountain villages surrounding it. The onsen wells up at a high temperature of 84°C, and is an alkaline thermal hot spring that is mild on skin. When you finish bathing, your skin will be smooth like silk. There are lots of lodging facilities in the area, and many of them offer day trip plans. There are also 3 public baths including Funsenchi, on the banks of the Hida River, and free foot baths available for your use.
*Photo is of Funsenchi
4. Yunoyama Onsen (Mie)
This hot spring has 1,300 years of history, and also has another name: "Shika no Yu," meaning "water of the deer." This name came from a legend that said that a deer bathed in the water to heal itself from wounds. The water is alkaline radium, which is good for external wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, and neuralgia. It's also known as a spring for beauty, since the water makes skin firm and smooth. There are various facilities around the area, including veteran ryokan, resort hotels, and complex facilities with restaurants as well as stylish hotels. There are also lots of facilities where you can enjoy a day trip.
5. Nishiura Onsen (Aichi)
Nishiura Onsen, situated on the tip of a peninsula that juts out into Mikawa Bay, is a beautiful onsen resort that has a 360 degree view of the ocean. It has been written about in Japanese poetry since ancient times, and it's famous for its scenery that has been highly praised. You can also bathe in the ocean as well as enjoy various marine sports and ocean fishing. There are various types of springs, including an alkaline thermal spring, a simple sulfur and iron spring, and a chloride spring. The type of water available depends on the facility or lodging. There are also many places where you can go for a day trip.
These various onsen resorts have different types of water, locations, and charms. Why not add one of them to your itinerary?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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