Sunday, March 2, 2008

Onsen - Hot spring

Since a lot of volcanoes are distributed, hot springs well up in each area in Japan.
Japanese like onsen and enjoy the onsen ryokan (Japanese style hotel ). Winter is good season for onsen trip. Ryokan suplies a lof of services and fun to tourists. Bath, dinner and breakfast , relaxation , etc.
We almost take a bath before taking a bath (onsen). Depending on guests , they take a bath second time. In case guests who love onsen, they will take a bath in the morning before breakfast. This is called "Asa Buro". Three times in one stay.
I write more information about onsen.
1) Big bath (Dai-Yokujo) is settled in each ryokan. All guests can take a bath in Dai-Yokujo together. Dai-Yokujo become a popularity for rhokan. Depending on the ryokan, there is a small bath (Uchi buro) in the room. We feel supreme relax and happiness in taking a onsen.
And we think that we are Japanese heartily. ( It is just a trivia. We often say "Gokuraku, Gokuraku" in hot water. This word is an expression for feeling happiest time. "Gokuraku " means paradise or heaven in Japanese based on Buddhist.)
2) Gorgeous dinner and breakfast : For dinner, not only onsen but food of rhokan is very important for the tourists. Almost ryokan serve full course Japanese style dinner and breakfast. For example, a lot of raw fishes (Sashimi) , tempura, other dishes of marine or mountain products, Nabe ryori for a each person, miso soup, rice and fruits or deserts. Almost of dishes are in season. For breakfast, basic foods are grilled fish (Yaki-Zakana), onsen egg, natto, rice with grilled seaweed, other season plates, miso soup and fruits.
3) Souvenir: Japanese like to buy souvenir for memory of trip. It is for both of ourselves and friends. There is a souvenir shop (Omiyagemono-ya) in rhokan. It is a fun for tourists. In general onsen manju or other sweets are sold there. Onsen manju is boiled Japanese sweet cakes stuffed with azuki-bean paste. Since manju was boiled by steam of hot spring before, it will be called "Onsen manju. "
4) What sports do guests play in onsen ryokan ? It is ping-pong. (Takkyu ) Tables for ping-pong are decreasing now. However, ping-pong is one of the items for Onsen trip.

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