Top 3 Secret Baths

Good morning everyone,

Well, the weather for today isn't looking as bad as they were originally calling for. They're still saying it'll rain, but now there's only a 40% chance in the morning and a 30% chance in the evening. Tomorrow might see some rain in the morning and there will be a mix of clouds and sun in the afternoon with a high of 12C. Saturday will be slightly warmer and sunnier and then the warm weather will be back from Sunday.

While checking for news and things online to post on my blog, I've noticed a lot of websites using the term 'netizen' recently. What is a 'netizen', you ask...well, it's a person who joins many discussions online or who is an avid user of the internet (meaning someone who basically 'lives' online). It is a portmanteau (Japanese love portmanteau!) of internet and citizen.

Anyway, today's list is another 'secret' one...and I have the same question as I did about the last secret list...how can it be a secret if so many people know about it? That hardly makes the hot springs a secret, right? Ha ha! I guess the thing that makes these hot springs 'secret' is the fact that they're hard to get to...

About 9% of people said that they wanted to make the trek to visit all three of Japan’s “secret baths,” small hot springs located far from the larger tourist-heavy baths.

In Hokkiado, Niseko Yakushi is a hot spring said to cure all sorts of physical problems. The murky bath and the small cozy inn it's located at are surrounded by mountains.

▼ The murky waters of Niseko Yakushi

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The no-frills Yachi hot spring in northern Aomori prefecture is 780 meters above sea level and first opened about 400 years ago.

▼ No luxuries here at Yachi hot springs

2014.01.10 no. 7 yachi aomori top 3


And if taking a cable car to an open-air bath 170 meters below your hotel sounds like a good time, Iya hot springs in Tokushima is the place for you to enjoy a warm bath overlooking the Iya ravine.

▼ A view of the Iya ravine from Iya hot springs

2014.01.10 no. 7 iya shikoku top 3

Maybe I don't go to the most touristy places-or maybe I'm lucky because I rarely get out on the weekends (does that make me lucky? Hmmm...ha ha) but I never have a problem with the baths I go to being crowded. Or maybe I've just been in Japan for so long that even if there are a bunch of people around, it doesn't bother me.

However, going to a 'secret' hot spring is way more tempting for me than the 'secret places' in an earlier 'Top Three' list. At least with the hot springs, there is something to do at the destination. And everyone knows that a hot spring feels better after you've done something strenuous-like climb a mountain, go for a run or do...ahhh...well, whatever it is that couples do together in a hotel room...talk?...play cards?...read the newspaper?...I don't know...ha ha! And I suppose if a place is difficult to get to, you feel like you've earned the right to soak in a nice hot bath without feeling guilty!

Have you got a secret hot spring that you like to go to? Don't worry, if you tell me I promise not to tell anyone else...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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