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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 Spring Resorts almost everywhere. You may find one of Onsen facilities wherever you go on a trip there, even in the urban cities. So, why not take this advantage and try Onsen while in Japan? Staying at a luxury inn is not the only way to enjoy Onsen, and there are some options including Ashiyu, the foot spa usually available for free.


What's Ashiyu?

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?

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