- Hot Spring
The Japanese are a people who like hot springs. Places by water have always been holy. People would purify themselves and perform Shinto rituals with the waters of hot springs and rivers. During the Edo period, hot spring areas also became known as places of healing, and there was a boom in staying at them for long periods to recuperate from illness. In short then, there has always been a deep connection between Japanese people and hot springs.
Blessed with an abundance of nature, Aichi Prefecture has numerous hot spring towns in places of scenic beauty. Lots of inns have created open air baths so that people can get the most out of that wonderful scenery. Relaxing in warm water while gazing at the ocean in the sunset or beneath a starry sky...and becoming one with nature. This is one of the appeals of an Aichi hot spring. Add to that a highly individual townscape, and the environs of a hot spring become an area where you can enjoy the leisure pursuit that is a hot spring visit to the full.
This is a quiet hot spring town rich in greenery that lies at the foothills of Mt. Sangane. The spring has an alkaline simple quality which makes it smooth on the skin, and it has beneficial effects on neuralgia and gastrointestinal pain. Ajisai Matsuri, a hydrangea festival, is held at Katahara Onsen Ajisai no Sato every June, and sees 50,000 hydrangeas in full bloom. You can enjoy the night light spectacle at your leisure, if you stay in one of the hot spring inns.
Miya Hot Spring, one of the oldest hot springs in Aichi, is said to have been discovered by a priest called Gyoki in the Nara era. It is located in Mikawa Bay Quasi-national Park, in a scenic location facing the ocean. A special pass is available which allows you to try a number of different Mikawa hot springs: a day passport for one person costs 2,200 yen and provides access to 4 different hot springs. The hot spring town is located near recreational facilities such as Laguna Ten Bosch, and makes a perfect base for sightseeing.
Located at the tip of Nishiura Peninsula, Nishiura Onsen features large ryokans with ocean views lined up on a steep hill extending from the coast line. The local scenery has long been famed for its beauty, such that it is said to have inspired singers for about 600 years. The alkaline simple spring water is gentle on the body, there are various sorts of spring water available. A gentle sandy beach is adjacent, so the spring is popular with sea swimmers in summer.
This hot spring offers a panoramic view of the wonderful scenery around Mikawa Bay, a bay which is surrounded by two peninsulas. The Miyazaki Swimming Beach which will spread before your eyes is so beautiful it was chosen by the Ministry of the Environment as one of Japan's top 88 beaches, and has been given the name "Kira Waikiki Beach". Tourists throng the resort in summer, and the sight of palm trees swaying in the wind on a white beach are just like what you see at resorts in more southerly lands.
Along Itajiki River located in Horaikyo, famous for its beautiful scenery, there has been an historical hot spring resort for over 1,300. Traditional Japanese inns and hotels line up, offering a day-trip or overnight hot spring experience. There's even a special 'leg hot spring' where you can treat your feet to a hot spring, without the need to change into Japanese style clothing. You can take some hot spring water home in your tank from the hot spring stand located in the corner of the hot spring resort.
Minami Chita Onsen
Minami Chita, well-known for being a sea-side leisure resort with good access from Nagoya. This popular hot spring resort boasts the most water of any in the prefecture. The resort lies in a location of scenic beauty in the Mikawa Bay Quasi-national Park, so there are wonderful views to be had wherever you are. In particular, when the sun setting in the Ise Bay becomes stained red, and sublimates the traveler sentiments of the beholder into an even more dramatic memory.
Inuyama Onsen, which springs forth on the banks of the Kiso River, is also called "The White Emperor's Water," in connection with "The White Emperor's Castle", which is the popular name for Inuyama Castle. This is a comparatively recent hot spring which first sprang forth in 1995, from 1,200 m below ground. This is an alkaline, hypotonic cold mineral spring with crystal clear water which is gentle on the skin and has beautifying effects. In addition to Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel, the source of the hot spring and a place where day trippers can also bathe, visitors can bathe at several inns along the Kiso River, and they all have open-air baths, bathhouses in their own style and so on.