Sublime Soaks from Aso to Zaou
Hot Spring History
Most likely, long before humans ever thought to bathe in the warm, possibly healing waters of Japan's volcanic springs, monkeys and other animals had discovered onsen's joys. It's impossible to look at a photo of one of the Japanese macaque monkeys soaking in a spring and not notice the humanlike expressions of bliss. The joy of a quiet mountain rotenburo have changed little over the millenia. Yet many aspects of the Japanese onsen bath have changed considerably. Some of the Ukiyoe (woodblock) prints below highlight aspects of the bath that one is less likely to see these days.
Onsen in Japanese Art
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