One evening, after a day of filming, the film crew took me to an Onsen run by a 3rd generation Onsen owner. The Hyotan Hot Springs are in Kannawa. Outside the onsen was this great structure built out of bamboo to cool down the water, which came out of the spring boiling hot. The water was piped to the top of the structure, built out of bamboo branches, and dripped off the branches into a pool, where anyone could soak their feet.
After decades of trying different materials to help cool the water bamboo turned out to be the best. The water really looked beautiful and sounded so relaxing dripping off the branches.
The Onsens are considered healing, and people travel from the far corners of Japan to come soak. Inside this Onsen we were given lockers for shoes and small items. There were no suitcase lockers. We showered 1st sitting down, then soaked in several pools. One of the most striking things about this Onsen are hot spring water pouring out of a natural rock wall. The water is powerful, hot, and makes a wonderful echo throughout the women’s area.
The water was not just used for soaking. One area had steam for healing throat, a sand bath, a pebble bath, a natural stone bath, and tile baths. You could also buy eggs cooked with spring water. The outdoor bath had a stunning waterfall, With red, orange, and brown rocks complimented by green moss.
This is a great place of respite. Next to the Onsen is a small temple where one can make an offering and ask for what one needs help with.