The sheer bliss of sinking into a pool of naturally hot water has been bringing weary travellers to Yudanaka Onsen for more than 1,300 years. In this laidback alpine village, thermal springs bubble up everywhere from traditional public bathhouses and long-established private inns to temple gardens and roadside footbaths. The waters define daily life here to such an extent, in fact, that even the local monkeys have discovered the pleasures of a good soak.
With magnificent mountain scenery on every side, it’s an attractive spot in which to dip a toe into Japan’s onsen culture. From the moment you slip on your cotton yukata robe and wooden geta sandals to the point at which you immerse yourself shoulder deep in the thermal pool – ideally one outside with a view of nature for the full restorative effect – you’ll be taking part in an everyday ritual whose roots reach deep into Japanese history.
For a restful Yudanaka Onsen visit, talk to our Japan experts about how to make the most of this appealing wellness destination.