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Onsen Legends: Delving into traditional hot springs and the mystical stories surrounding them

The Magic of Onsen Hot Springs

Onsen hot springs have long been cherished in Japanese culture as a place where people go to relax and unwind. The springs are naturally heated by the earth and contain minerals that can help to soothe aching muscles, improve circulation, and calm the mind. But there’s more to onsen than just the physical benefits – the springs are also steeped in legend and tradition.

Mythical Origins of Onsen

According to Japanese mythology, the god Izanagi and goddess Izanami created Japan by thrusting a spear into the ocean and stirring up the land. After their divine task was done, they washed themselves in the hot springs that sprung up from the ground. It is said that the first onsen was created by Izanagi and Izanami and that all other hot springs today are simply copies of the original.

Spirits that Haunt the Hot Springs

While onsen are typically a peaceful place, there are also stories of supernatural beings who haunt the hot springs and can cause all kinds of mischief. One such spirit is the ‘yūrei’, a ghost of a person who died in a particularly horrific way. They are said to linger in the onsen, seeking revenge on the living and causing all sorts of trouble.

Onsen Etiquette

To fully enjoy the experience of onsen, it’s important to follow certain etiquette rules. For example, it’s customary to wash oneself before entering the hot springs to ensure that the water remains clean for all guests. It’s also important to respect other guests’ privacy and refrain from talking loudly or engaging in other disruptive behavior.

The Future of Onsen

As the world becomes more connected, onsen hot springs are becoming a popular destination for travelers from around the world. While some onsen have modernized to accommodate these visitors, others still cling to their traditional roots. Regardless of which type of onsen you visit, one thing is for certain – the magic of the hot springs is sure to leave a lasting impression on those who experience it. In conclusion, onsen hot springs are not only a place to relax and unwind but also a part of Japanese mythology and legend. Whether you’re a seasoned onsen enthusiast or a first-time visitor, there’s no denying the allure of these magical hot springs.
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