Over the weekend we went on an adventure to the Nikko Onsen to spend one night soaking in hot springs, and enjoying some RNR. My photo peach: https://photopeach.com/album/lt8ikl
“An onsen (温泉) is a Japanese hot spring and the bathing facilities and inns are frequently situated around them. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsens scattered throughout all of its major islands.”- – – In case you were wondering… ;).
Buuuut, before we headed to the Onsen, we went to Edo Wonderland!! Edo Wonderland, basically, is the equivalent of a Japanese Renaissance Festival. There are different performances running all day long, everyday. And the people who visit Edo Wonderland can dress up as a Japanese Edo period villager, geisha, samurai and so on. I could tell that my kids would LOVE it there! It was a lot of fun, and exploring an Edo period village was super neato!!
ON TO THE ONSEN LIFE!!! I’ve previously written about this topic on my ‘World of Adventure’ Blog, but it’s a really interesting part of the Japanese culture and I had a much more authentic experience this time. The last Onsen I went to, I wasn’t in there with any other people, because we showed up late, on a week day, during the Fall.
Onsens are usually located at a Ryokan (traditional style Japanese Inn), and inside an Onsen town (sometimes). You arrive and are given a Yukata, as seen in my photos above, that you wear for your entire stay at the Ryokan. If you’re in an Onsen town, you’re free to move around outside in your Yukata as well. 🙂
When you 1st head into the Onsen changing room, you’re supposed to get butt nakey, sit in your own little area, and bath before getting into the hot spring. The hot spring isn’t for bathing, just soaking. And in case you’re really interested in learning more about the Onsen etiquette… because there’s a lot of stuff you SHOULDN’T do!!!… You can watch this video and learn more (it’ll show you female and male etiquette): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR2Z_zx8iF4
Hope that helps!!!
After our soak in the Onsen, a friend of mine and myself went to get our 1st Japanese massage. It was wonderfuuuuul, especially after walking, climbing stairs and being on the go for two weeks NON STOP. -_-***
I slept in the next day (kinda), and then rushed to eat breakfast, soak in the Onsen one last time and pack up for our trip to Nikko Tosho-gu (日光東照宮) and the ride back to our dorm.
It was a very beautiful Temple/Shrine, but I was very hangry, achy and not in the best of moods. I still really appreciated the beauty, and bought a replacement protection scroll for my home after the 200+ stairs I climbed. That way I’d remember how and why I bought the scroll! 🙂