Hot springs/ spas are the most typical Japanese forms of relaxation. Whether you have been to one or not, you must have heard of all kinds of stories about the legendary onsen. Despite the seemingly “conservative” nature of Japanese, hot springs are one place where salarymen, office ladies, the elderly, the young all strip to their skin (though, unfortunately, not altogether), overcome the anti-social barrier, break down the vertical seniority system, open up their minds and engage in heart-to-heart talks with their bosses, colleagues, lovers, friends, family members and even strangers.
Hot springs are usually, though not always, natural. The hot streams emerging from metres below the surface contain huge amounts of minerals, famously known to cure illnesses, prevents skin-ageing and all sorts of magical aliments. No wonder Japanese have such a high life-expectancy. Blah blah blah… you must have heard it a thousand times that you think they are all just bullshit.
Well, maybe Japanese themselves have gotten sick of the usual descriptions and explanations of hotsprings, that they have come up with an entirely novel idea, blended into the traditional relaxation form of onsen. Go to Yunessan, a hot-spring theme park, located up in the mountains in Hakone, a 1 and half hour train ride from Shinjuku.
Welcome to Yunessan. Welcome to the world of weird hot springs.
Apart from these, there were other weird spas such as Japanese sake, chocolate spas, rose spas and so on.
Interestingly, these springs actually do spell like wine/ sake/ coffee. And at several intervals a day, the staff actually pour in real wine/ chocolate into the spas.
It seems like the Japanese will never run out of ideas to improvise their own traditions.
Homepage of Yunessan: http://www.yunessun.com/