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Onsen of Japan

June 2, 2018 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Discard your clothes and your daily cares and enjoy a time-honoured bathing ritual with Onsen of Japan. For thousands of years, Japanese hot springs (or onsen) have been revered for their relaxing and healing qualities, and this guidebook highlights 140 of the very best places for tourists to visit around the country, from the southern tip right up to the north.

Onsen experiences vary from super sento (large bathing and relaxation centres) to local bathhouses. Michelle Mackintosh and Steve Wide have meticulously researched the best places to go for a soak, from cosy local hang-outs and ultra-chic inner-city spas to deep forest hotspring retreats and onsen towns with timeless character and charm. They have plumbed the depths of some of Japan’s most amazing hotspring experiences to bring you the best of the best.

Onsen of Japan explores the ins and outs, dos and don’ts and most of all the absolute joy of dipping yourself naked into ancient healing waters that have bubbled up from deep underground. It will help you navigate the complex etiquette and customs of communal bathing. Easy checklists let you know what each onsen offers and whether tattoos are accepted. One thing is for sure, taking a bath will never be the same again.

About the Authors
Steve Wide is a writer and DJ. He has presented a British indie music radio show in Melbourne, Australia, for two decades, interviewing PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Pulp, Oasis and Bjork, to name a few, and toured with bands such as Primal Scream and the Stone Roses. He has written two pop culture books, Bowie A-Z and Prince A-Z. He has also written travel reviews for Monocle Books. He has a Masters in writing and creative media from RMIT and is currently undertaking a diploma in Japanese language.

Michelle Mackintosh is an award-winning book designer and illustrator. She has authored two books on analogue correspondence: Snail Mail and Care Packages. Her books are filled with origami, Japanese wrapping techniques and stationery crafting. Japan is her favourite design inspiration.

Steve and Michelle are passionate Japanophiles and have travelled to Japan three or four times a year for the past 15 years. They have written, photographed and designed two books on Japanese culture: Tokyo Precincts and Kyoto Pocket Precincts.

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