Soaking in South East Asia

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

Every week I try to re-blog someone else’s post on hot springs.  This week, I found four absolutely stunning sites by blogger J.H. Dubbeldam, who runs

Soaking in Southeast Asia,

Soaking in Siam,

Hot Soaks of the Himalayas and

the European Natural Soaking Society. 

His primary focus is natural hot springs – though he does include some developed springs and spas.  His blog posts are very thorough and in depth studies of what is going on in the world of natural soaking.  The layout and photographs are beautiful!  This is the place you want to be if you are looking for hot springs in Asia or for natural hot springs in Europe!  Check out his blogs right now and bookmark them for later!

 

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

A Visit to Hot Springs Country, Yudanaka, Japan

This post is Part 1 of a series. There are too many hot springs in Yudanaka for just one post, so I have broken this down into sections. Stay tuned for more!

Nagano county, seen from the train

Nagano county, seen from the train

Yudanaka is a quaint and lovely village about an hour away from Nagano. It is very picturesque and traditional. We went in mid-September, and I really enjoyed the train ride through miles and miles of apple orchards and rice fields. The rice was a glorious golden yellow and the wonderful crisp fresh apples and their products were in season in all the markets.

 

Yudanaka, Japan

Yudanaka, Japan

Yudanaka is full of onsen. Hot streams run through the town, and there are springs bubbling up in almost every front yard. Some of the waters can be quite hot, so caution around puddles is a good idea. There are foot baths on many street corners, and most ryokan have their own onsen.

 

On our first night, our host at the ryokan took us to a local onsen with a view. We traveled along a windiYudanaka Onsenng switchback road to a private bath house up high on a mountainside ski hill. The lights of the village glittered far below, as we enjoyed our own private outdoor pool. The water is not strongly scented, the baths are clean and again there were apples for the taking in a basket. There were low light candles all around us. It was a truly magical experience!

Yudanaka has a long history as a small ski and hot springs resort town, so there are a lot of hotels, springs, restaurants and other services.  Somehow though, it has not lost its human scale and is inviting, charming, and tranquil.  This is a wonderful village to spend a lot of time in.

Yudanaka’s most famous hot springs aficionados are the Japanese snow monkeys.  Stay tuned for the next post in this series, where we will spend a glorious day in Jigokudani Monkey Park!