For centuries, residents and travelers alike have turned to hot baths for relaxation and cures from various diseases. The tradition of soaking in mineral-rich water remains today, and we’ve rounded up some of the steamiest spots around the world.
1. Takaragawa Onsen, Japan
A mere two hours from Tokyo, this onsen – or hot pool — is located in a beautiful riverside setting with water said to help nervous disorders, bad circulation, skin irritation, sore muscles and joints, aches, bruises and fatigue. The area is extremely picturesque and slightly hidden, but is considered the best open hot spa in Japan. There are a variety of choices, too. The onsen is comprised of four large outdoor baths – three mixed and one women-only — all with natural, untreated water flowing from the origin, no additional heat, and no additives. Though Takaragawa is beautiful in any setting, “There is nothing more relaxing than a long soak with your family in a gorgeous hot outdoor onsen with the snow gently falling,” wrote one reviewer.