The Japanese Culture of Ashi-Yu 足湯 the foot spa

Chubu Culture Foot spa 2019.07.25
You've been to Onsen yet? You can find different hot springs all around Japan. Here we will introduce you to the Onsens just for your feet! If you decide to travel around Japan in winter you might want to look around for these easy access foot spas.

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Foot Spas!
Have you tried an Onsen (hot springs) or a Sento (public baths) in Japan yet?
If you haven't, get started with this guide to Sento and Onsen that we have been to.
Onsen just for your feet!
Now that you know a little about onsen and sento, get to know the next level experience.
Foot spas around Japan is also another thing you will find commonly.
They are normally available at famous onsen spots or at a station around the cold areas of Japan.
Some are kindly available for free as well.
The benefits of Ashi-yu
What's good about this foot spa?

1. Foot spas save the hassle of having to remove your clothes!
For those who are not used to the public bath culture, it is easier to just remove your socks and have a warm soak. 
Because you only have to remove your socks, it keeps it simple and quick to dry yourself as well.

2. Another benefit of this foot spa is that you can keep your feet warm while keeping your head cool.
In Japan, it is told that keeping your feet warm and having your head cool is good for your health. 
You won't get that dizzy feeling for staying in the bath for too long either.

3. Some of the foot spas are available for free. Who doesn't enjoy free spas?
Some of our recommendations.

The largest foot bath in Japan!

Yuppo-no-Sato at Nasu-Shiobara in Tochigi prefecture.
The "Ashiyu-Kairo" meaning a cloister of foot spa, is a unique hot spring venue and is a circular shaped onsen just for your feet.
This foot spa is one of the largest in Japan and is about 60m long!

Official Website in Japanese

Unique foot spa in Tendo, Yamagata.

This Komanoyu hot spring for feet at Tendo in Yamagata prefecture is a unique foot spa representing the local specialty, the Shogi (named Koma) pieces.
The town is famous for the production of Shogi (Japanese chess) pieces and this spa has a huge Shogi piece in the centre.

This foot spa is available for free and is located right near the Tendo onsen area.
If you have the chance to go to Tendo, try visiting this freely available hot spa for feet!

Also, take a look at our article on a two-day visit to Tendo
Day1
Day2

The steam foot bath in Beppu, Oita.

This foot spa is another unique one in Beppu, the most famous onsen area in Japan.
This one is a foot spa where you don't soak your feet in the water.
Instead, you place your feet in this hole like the picture and get your feet steamed!
Don't worry, it's not too hot that it's going to cook your feet.
Try the basic public baths!
how do you think about some of the unique foot spas around Japan?
Of course, there are plenty more available around Japan, but that was just a few of the top ones for you to get you started.

Oh, and in case you haven't yet been to an Onsen yet, here are a few recommendations for you.

The Ultimate Tochigi Guide
Travel around Nasu
Try an Onsen in Tokyo
Go to see the Tohoku area
If you want to try the Sento, try the Takara-yu near the Kita-Senju station to start with.


We hope you enjoy your stay in Japan!

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Quick guide of the Takarayu mentioned above!
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