The Way of the Japanese Bath

"My first onsen experience in Beppu, a town often shrouded in water vapor on the southern island of Kyushu, converted me into a furo-aholic (bath-aholic) in the early 1990s. Two decades later, I still find the magical waters an endless source of visual and visceral pleasure." - Mark Edward Harris

The Art of the Japanese Bath by Mark Edward Harris • Solare Journal

The Art of the Japanese Bath • Solare journal

The cascade bath at the Hyotan Onsen in Beppu, Kyushu. The waters of geothermal springs are believed to have healing properties.

At Goshogake in Akita Prefecture, bathers often have a session in a steam-bath box before proceeding to an indoor hot-spring bath with a high sulphur content

Yuzu & Sake • Solare Journal

A sake tray floats alongside yuzu in Sujiyu, Kyushu

The Art of the Japanese Bath • SOLARE journal

A woman bathes in a tub made from a sake barrel at the hotel Dai Kogen on the southern island of Kyushu

The Art of the Japanese Bath • Solare journal

The Art of the Japanese Bath • Solare journal

A woman enters an outdoor hot spring at the Kannawaen Ryokan, Beppu

The Art of the Japanese Bath • Solare journalThe communal indoor bath at Hoshi Onsen Chojukan Ryokan in Gumma Prefecture

The Way of the Japanese Bath • Solare journal

A bath in a ryokan, a traditional inn, in Echigo Yuzawa, Gunma Prefecture, which is the setting for Kawabata Yasunari’s Nobel Prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country), a story about a love affair between a hot-spring geisha and her city-dwelling client

The Way of the Japanese Bath • SOLARE

The communal indoor bath at Chojukan Ryokan soothes bathers with spring water rich in calcium and magnesium.

 

All photos property of Mark Edward Harris

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