by Heather Russell

Animals Love Hot Springs in Japan

Japan has some of the most amazing, beautiful hot springs in the world. Naturally, Japanese people love taking baths, and so do some animals!
Here is a collection of photos capturing adorable animals soaking in onsen (hot springs).

1) Jigokudani Yaen Park In Nagano Prefecture is known for attracting monkeys that reside in the area. Everyone looks so happy taking soaks!

jigokudani-monkey-hot-spring-nagano-rinkya-japan2 jigokudani-monkey-hot-spring-nagano-rinkya-japan jigokudani-monkey-hot-spring-nagano-rinkya-japan3

Photo Source

2) Hakodate Botanical Garden in Hokkaido is home for many Nihonzaru, or Japanese mascaques. Visitors can view these monkeys enjoy hot springs from December to May every year. Some of the monkeys lose hair from taking baths all the time, but it regrows when weather gets warmer.

hakodate-botanical-garden-monkey-hot-spring-rinkya-japan2 hakodate-botanical-garden-monkey-hot-spring-rinkya-japan4 hakodate-botanical-garden-monkey-hot-spring-rinkya-japan3 hakodate-botanical-garden-monkey-hot-spring-rinkya-japan

Photo Source

3) Japan Racing Association (JRA) Hakodate Headquarter in Hokkaido is the only facility ran by JRA offering hot springs for racehorses. Here, horses can relax after a long day of racing, and also it attracts many horses that seek treatment for joint inflammation and injuries. Just like humans!

jra-horse-hot-spring-rinkya-japan

Photo Source

jra-horse-hot-spring-rinkya-japan2

Photo Source

4) Izu Shaboten Park in Shizuoka Prefecture attracts my capybaras looking for relaxation in hot springs. Capybaras are animals that just love

izu-shaboten-park-capybara-hot-spring-rinkya-japan2 izu-shaboten-park-capybara-hot-spring-rinkya-japan

Photo Source

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo Source

It’s said that there are about 16 spots in Japan you can regularly spot capybaras in hot springs. This park is one of them!

5) Semi Onsen in Iwate Prefecture is a hot spring facility and ryokan for humans, but they also offer a tub specially made for dogs and cats.

dog-and-cat-hot-spring-semi-onsen-rinkya-japan2 dog-and-cat-hot-spring-semi-onsen-rinkya-japan3

Photo Sourcedog-and-cat-hot-spring-semi-onsen-rinkya-japan

Photo Source

6) Takaragawa Onsen in Gunma has a long history of sharing hot springs with bears in this area. It used to be a place where visitors get to actually hang out with bears in the hot springs, but since Japan’s animal control regulations were introduced, the facility no longer allows bears to take baths freely near humans. These are some old photos from back in the day when it was okay to do so.

takaragawa-onsen-hot-spring-bear-rinkya-japan

Photo Source

takaragawa-onsen-hot-spring-bear-rinkya-japan2

Photo Source

7) Hells of Beppu (Yamajigoku) in Oita Prefecture uses its warm water from hot spring to provide an optimal habitat for a hippopotamus called “Shohei-kun.”

hippopotamus-beppu-hot-spring-rinkya-japan

Photo Source

Due to the steam from hot springs, this area stays relatively warm all year long, making it possible to have elephants, flamingos, and other animals that usually live in warmer countries.

8) Nagasaki Bio Park is another spot you can watch Capybaras taking baths in hot springs during winter (December to February). They even have their own showers! Sometimes the staff would throw in some yuzu citrus and pomelo fruits to make it even more relaxing. It’s like capybara spa!

nagasaki-bio-park-capybara-hot-spring-rinkya-japan

 

nagasaki-bio-park-capybara-hot-spring-rinkya-japan2

 

Photo Source

nagasaki-bio-park-capybara-hot-spring-rinkya-japan3

nagasaki-bio-park-capybara-hot-spring-rinkya-japan4

Photo Source

9) Yamazaki Ryokan, Iwama Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture is sort of a hidden spot. It is a small, classic Japanese inn not too well known for tourists and only opens for summer to autumn. They offer nice reclusive hot springs for human visitors. Also, using the overflown water from the main hot spring, they provide a special hot tub for dogs.

dog-hot-spring-iwama-onsen-yamazaki-ryokanrinkya-japan2

A big old sign states “Onsen Only for Dogs”

dog-hot-spring-iwama-onsen-rinkya-japan

This is a dog that regularly shows up in this special dog spa. So cute with the towel on her head!

dog-hot-spring-iwama-onsen-yamazaki-ryokanrinkya-japan3

 

 

Photo Source

According to the dog’s owner, she sometimes almost fall asleep while soaking in this bath. How adorable!

dog-hot-spring-iwama-onsen-yamazaki-ryokanrinkya-japan4

 

Photo Source

 

Just from seeing these photos, now I want to go to Japanese onsen too! Japanese people care a great deal about bath culture. You can see their attention even in regular bath tubs installed in houses (a lot of the times the bath tubs come with automatic devices to reheat/keep temperature of water for hours), and a lot of the time family members share bath water, so when one person is done, the next person can use the same water. You can even get a special pipe that pulls the bath water into washing machines, so you can reuse the water for cleaning clothes. They don’t waste it! As you can see, soaking in hot tubs is a significant part of Japanese life ^_^

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Don't Miss an update.
Get Rinkya's Newsletter to your Inbox