Travelling is about embracing new experiences. In Japan that can mean leaving your clothes, along with your comfort zone, in a neat pile far behind. Japanese onsens, or communal hot springs, adhere to ancient traditions which include bathing naked.
I have been coming here since a kid. It's always had the little dam, don't know why people think this is new? Never had a problem with mozzies, probably happens sometimes though I guess.
The upper pools are very crowded since they are the hottest, so we tried to go to the lowest one The hot springs recently opened after a road had to be repaired. The day we went, most of the men were old, naked, and overweight, while all the women of varying ages wore swim suits.
IN IDAHO, geothermal geology and remote, mountainous geography combine to produce some of the most plentiful and enjoyable hot springs anywhere in the US. Important note: Please remember to keep your footprint light — stay on trails and pack out everything you bring to the hot springs. Working together helps us keep these special places clean and safe for years to come.
It's a while since I was surrounded by naked men. School showers, in fact, surely the most universally loathed activity of a man's formative years. Now I am outdoors, surrounded by birdsong, moss-covered rocks, the first hints of blossom on the trees, and steam rising into a sun-dappled glade.
Wonderful vignettes of the hot springs experience. A writer views his life in Japan through the bubbling waters of its natural springs. Its a refreshing view that harkens to other literary journeys in Japan.
Last week, SFGATE reported that the "beloved Bay Area clothing-optional mecca Harbin Hot Springs is reopening its soaking pools," and that got us to thinking about hot springs and the culture of accepting nudity that goes with them. The Harbin resort was destroyed in the deadly Valley Fire in September. But now its six communal spring-fed pools, spread among trees in a peaceful setting, are open for reservations.
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The Japanese school year starts in April, and one high school in Tochigi Prefecture wasted no time in scheduling a two-night class trip for its new crop of first-year students. Their destination: the city of Nikko, nestled in the beautiful mountains and one of the top sightseeing destinations not just in Tochigi, but all of Japan. Nikko boasts numerous attractions of natural beauty and cultural significance, including Tosho-gu Shrine, dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun who founded the three-century Tokugawa dynasty, and the picturesque Lake Chuzenji and Kegon no Taki waterfalls.
Most people hiking the trails of San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California know how dry and dusty they can be. The chance of finding springs, or waterfalls is quite remote. But the chance of finding nude hot springs is really far-fetched. Mountain canyons, sand beaches, swimming holes and natural hot springs?