Unwind at Japan’s onsens

By Stanley Osur
This item appears on page 12 of the October 2020 issue.
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I have visited Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, for 21 straight years. (That streak ended this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Based on my experience, the main selling points of Japan, as I see them, are…

• No tipping. Again, NO tipping.

• No inflation, so prices considered high 15 years ago haven’t risen.

• It’s one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world.

• Language is not as big a barrier as is often described.

• The transportation is great! (I’ve never had to rent a car.)

• Hotels are very reasonably priced.

• The people could not be nicer.

Now for the main purpose of my letter —

The Japanese outlive us because, among many reasons, they know how to relax. Japan has onsens, or hot spring facilities, open day and night to help you unwind and regroup.

An overnight onsen will offer a room, dinner and breakfast, pools to soak in, reading rooms and so much more. The cost is not much more than a hotel and two individual meals.

Normally, men are separated from women when bathing, but many onsens offer mixed bathing.

After a long flight to Japan, most travelers would welcome a day of adjustment, but whether upon arrival or mid-itinerary, there is no better way to get familiar with Japanese cuisine and get some needed rest than staying at an onsen. I’ve experienced at least 10 different onsens, and I can say it is something I always look forward to, as it forces you to unwind.

If anyone has questions, email me at stanosur@optonline.net.

STANLEY OSUR
Tenafly, NJ

 

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I have visited Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, for 21 straight years. (That streak ended this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Based on my experience, the main selling points of Japan, as I see them, are…

• No tipping. Again, NO tipping.

• No inflation, so prices considered high 15 years ago haven’t risen.

• It’s one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world.

• Language is not as big a barrier as is often described.

• The transportation is great! (I’ve never had to rent a car.)

• Hotels are very reasonably priced.

• The people could not be nicer.

Now for the main purpose of my letter —

The Japanese outlive us because, among many reasons, they know how to relax. Japan has onsens, or hot spring facilities, open day and night to help you unwind and regroup.

An overnight onsen will offer a room, dinner and breakfast, pools to soak in, reading rooms and so much more. The cost is not much more than a hotel and two individual meals.

Normally, men are separated from women when bathing, but many onsens offer mixed bathing.

After a long flight to Japan, most travelers would welcome a day of adjustment, but whether upon arrival or mid-itinerary, there is no better way to get familiar with Japanese cuisine and get some needed rest than staying at an onsen. I’ve experienced at least 10 different onsens, and I can say it is something I always look forward to, as it forces you to unwind.

If anyone has questions, email me at stanosur@optonline.net.

STANLEY OSUR
Tenafly, NJ