Shizuka’s BeautyZen Corner: Japan’s Elixir for both Body and Mind
Soaking in a tub of hot mineral water relaxes the body and soothes nerves, and is also believed to heal diseases, as well as common aches and pains.
Balneotherapy, or treatment of diseases with baths, has been enjoyed by Japanese for centuries as evidenced by the thousands of onsens or bath houses that exist there. Traditionally, most onsens occur outdoors on top of naturally occurring hot spring water reserves. Outdoor onsens allow the visitor to have a quiet soak while communing with nature with views of mountains, forests, or the sea.
Japanese and foreigners alike flock to onsens year-round as places of refuge from a hectic city life, a way to spend quality time with family and friends, or just to feel rejuvenated by the water’s active mineral content.
You can create your very own onsen experience at home by adding onsen bath salts to hot bath water. Salts can be purchased at any Japanese grocery store or market and may be lightly scented to resemble a region’s onsen experience.
Read our related blog post for more bath ideas: The Art of the Bath