While Japan sits at a precarious place on the Pacific Ring of Fire causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the like , its tectonic luck has resulted in the formation of thousands of natural hot springs, many with time-honored healing qualities. Nature surrounds everything here, and guests can enjoy the scenery while lounging in one of the many rotenburo , or outdoor baths. The town has been a hot spring destination for over a thousand years, yet few people outside of Japan know about this hidden gem. This water reportedly helps heal a variety of human ailments, including indigestion, arthritis, and poor circulation. About 3 hours from Tokyo, Kusatsu is situated in scenic Gunma prefecture, with an actual hot water field in the town center. Japan has long promoted their onsen domestically as bona fide tourist attractions, creating whole sightseeing towns around the presence of these geothermal baths. If the thought of being voluntarily buried makes you feel claustrophobic, visit the outdoor baths at the incredible Healthy Land , a resort with jaw-dropping views of Kagoshima bay and the Kaimondake volcano. For the full rotenburo outdoor bathing experience, visit the spacious Sainokawara onsen. Visitors are encouraged to hike around the sublime Jigokudani Hell Valley , where there is a steaming river that runs hot, forested areas for foot bathing, and the sulfurous Oyunuma pond.
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