Ashiyu 足湯 literally means a foot spa. Ashiyu is usually formed with a small bathing pool filled with hot spring water and is often placed under a wooden canopy where people sit around and soak their feet in the pool. The hot spring water in the pool is kept running or in a circulation system to maintain cleanliness. Ashiyu is usually offered for free. Since there is no rental towel service available, you need to bring a towel. 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/end point 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. 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?