Outdoor mountain onsen, forest bathing, and a matchmaking frog
Misasa Onsen in Tottori has been famous for its curative powers for over 850 years. The waters here are considered to be therapeutic and beneficial in treating all kinds of ailments. In addition to onsen bathing, you can refresh your spirit by walking out in the woods. Known as forest bathing, such woodland walks have been scientifically proven to enhance your mood. Single travelers may want to head for Koitani Bridge, which has a frog that according to legend will help you find a spouse.
One of the highlights of Misasa Onsen is its hot springs, which are the world’s most radium-enriched. Radium is known for its therapeutic properties and bathing in these hot springs is believed to improve one’s health. The kajika frog on Koitani Bridge is also a must-see attraction. According to legend, if you rub the frog, it will bless you with a spouse. Another unique experience in Misasa Onsen is forest bathing. This practice involves immersing yourself in nature and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest, which has been shown to have a positive effect on mental and physical well-being.
The origins of Misasa Onsen can be traced back to the 12th century when it was discovered by a samurai warrior named Okubo Samanosuke. The hot spring waters are said to cleanse the six senses and improve overall health. Misasa Onsen received japan Heritage status in 2015, recognizing its cultural and historical significance.
How to Get There
Misasa Onsen is easily accessible by local buses from Kurayoshi Station, which is the nearest train station. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes. There are also highway buses from Osaka and Hiroshima that stop at Misasa Royal Hotel, which is about three kilometers from the main onsen area.
Where the line between history and legend blurs
Misasa Onsen has a rich history that is intertwined with legend. In 1164, Okubo Samanosuke came to Misasa on a pilgrimage to Mt. Mitoku. During his journey, he encountered a white wolf and spared its life. In gratitude, the Myoken Bodhisattva appeared in Samanosuke’s dreams and revealed the location of magical hot springs with healing properties. Today, a statue of Samanosuke and the wolf marks the site of the hot springs.
Bathe with the locals, like a local
One of the unique aspects of Misasa Onsen is the Kawara bath located next to the river. This outdoor bath is mixed gender and offers a traditional onsen experience. While it may be intimidating for some visitors to bathe in full view of others, it is a common practice in Japan. Bathing etiquette is important, and bathers are required to be completely naked. To maintain modesty, a small towel can be used to cover certain areas. Before entering the bath, it is customary to rinse off and wash yourself thoroughly. Once in the bath, you can relax and enjoy the soothing hot spring waters.
Forest bathing—a natural boost for your immunity
One of the main attractions of Misasa Onsen is forest bathing. This practice involves immersing oneself in the natural environment of the forest and taking in its sights, sounds, and smells. Research has shown that spending time in nature has a positive effect on mental and physical well-being. The Misasa hot springs have the highest levels of radium of any hot springs in the world, and bathing in its waters for three consecutive days is believed to improve one’s health. This is based on the theory of hormesis, which suggests that small doses of radiation can be beneficial to health.
Rokkan chiyu—cleansing the six senses
In addition to the physical benefits of the hot springs, Misasa Onsen also offers spiritual healing. The concept of “rokkon chiyu” refers to the cleansing of the six senses, including the soul. By relaxing, bathing, drinking the local waters, and inhaling the radon-infused steam, visitors can soothe their senses and find inner peace.
Stroll to the sounds of a frog chorus
Exploring the onsen area of Misasa is a delightful experience. The stone path that runs through the town is lined with inns, shops, and an arcade filled with retro games. At the center of the path is a footbath and a small temple. As you cross the river, listen for the chorus of kajika frogs. These frogs are known for their unique croaking sound, and it is said that a person with a beautiful singing voice is referred to as a “kajika” in Japan.
In conclusion, Misasa Onsen in Tottori offers a unique and rejuvenating experience for visitors. The hot springs, with their therapeutic properties, are a must-visit for those seeking relaxation and healing. The practice of forest bathing allows visitors to connect with nature and improve their overall well-being. The legend of the matchmaking frog adds an element of charm and intrigue to the onsen experience. Whether you are looking to improve your health, find inner peace, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, Misasa Onsen is the perfect destination.
Address And Maps Location:
Misasa-cho, Tohaku-gun, Tottori-ken