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Ashiyu Foot Spa - A way of enjoying Onsen hot springs for free

Japan, the country of volcanic islands, is studded with Onsen or hot springs, which can be found almost everywhere, even in the urban cities. So, why not experience Onsen while in Japan? Staying at a luxury inn is not the only option to enjoy Onsen, and your choice can be Ashiyu, the foot spa usually available for free.

What's Ashiyu?

Ashiyu 足湯 is a foot spa that is usually formed with a small bathing pool filled with hot spring water, often set under a wooden canopy where people sit around and soak their feet in relaxation. Ashiyu is usually offered by locals, allowing anybody to enjoy for free.

The hot spring water in the pool is kept running or in a circulation system to maintain cleanliness. Just try soaking your feet in Ashiyu for a few minutes, and you may feel your body getting warmed up if you were soaking your body in a bathtub.

Ashiyu - Niijima island, Tokyo
digi-joho TOKYO related article - Niijima

Ashiyu - Kumomi Onsen, Southern Izu, Shizuoka
digi-joho TOKYO related article - Southern Izu

Where to find and how to enjoy Ashiyu

Ashiyu spas are often found at tourist spots, include some road stations (called Michinoeki), train stations, the starting/endpoint of walking trails, and even at lookout points with majestic views. Melting your feet after a day-long walking tour, or laying back in a foot spa at a lookout point on the seaward side and gazing at a ship getting look smaller toward to the horizon, is another way of enjoying Onsen.

Since Ashiyu is usually for free and there is no rental towel service available. Don’t forget to keep a towel in your backpack so you can take an Ashiyu anytime you find it.

Related Japanese Samples

Is there an Ashiyu foot spa near here?
Kono Chikaku ni Ashiyu wa arimasu ka?

It's for free, isn't it?
Muryou desu yo-ne?

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