Ah, hot springs. One of the finer parts of life in Japan. You should definitely experience one while you're there. While there can also be some very real experiences in culture shock while you're there, the onsen is absolutely worth adapting to the local culture.
This post will hopefully prepare you mentally for the trip. Without further adieu, here's some advice from my own experiences at various hot springs all over the country:
Nudity: May as well get this one out of the way. Yeah, the overwhelming majority of hot springs involve nudity. This is why they're sex-segregated. There are non-nude places where co-ed groups of friends can go together. Still, nudity is the rule rather than the exception and for the most part you'll end up with old people who don't bother you.
Continue reading “Japanese Hot Springs Guide”
The Hokkaido branch of JR is offering cheap one-day trips for skiing, snowboarding and hot springs in Japan's northern winter wonderland. For about $75 you can get an inclusive trip of train pass, one-day lift pass, and ski/board rental for some of the world's best snow.
Or for as little as $85 you can get a day at an outdoor hot springs, in the snow, with a buffet lunch.
Some trips also involve a bus trip to the particular destination, but that's also included in the price.
Your options include:
Niseko Hirafu with view of Mt. Yotei: 6,200 yen
(special note: we just covered Niseko!)
Sahoro with view of Tokachi plain: 10,300 yen
Tomamu with 16 courses: 9,100 yen
Furano with courses for all levels: 5,750 yen
Teine, just 40 minutes from Sapporo: 5,850 yen
Continue reading “Things to Do: Hokkaido – Day Trips to Ski Areas Under $100”