photo：Jakub Hałun on wikimedia
The beautiful Tochigi prefecture is dotted with hot springs also known as "secret spas". Kita-Onsen is one such 'secret-spa' located obscurely in the Nasushiobara area with a Ryokan almost at the foot of Mt. Asahidake.
Kita-Onsen boasts of an Inn or Ryokan with a 160 year old history and will provide a bizarre hot-spring experience.
The Tengu bath (Tengu - Japanese imaginary monster in red and having a long nose) will definitely give tourists/visitors a bizarre experience and a wondrous feeling similar to a Miyazaki movie. The Tengu no Yu is a mixed bath, that supposedly derives its waters directly from the source of the hot spring. The steam filled concrete rooms have huge masks of Tengu on the walls overlooking the bathers.
Don't you think Kita-Onsen has an intriguing design and ambience?
Tourists need not worry about sharing space with men and/or women; as the changing rooms are separate for both men and women and so are the bathing areas.
Close to the inn is the "Kishi-Boshin", a good place to pray. There is a folklore still doing rounds that states, if a person prayed before bathing at the Tengu bath the person will be blessed and be in safe hands while having a baby. The water is said to have therapeutic effects on neuralgia and other gastroenteric disorders specially for women.
You can't miss what we call "Onsen-shrine" as well.
The mystic long stairs takes you to the shrine. The moss on the stairs narrates the fact that few people have treaded them. Looks arcane, ain't it?
An interesting fact about the Kita-Onsen Inn is that, the Japanese movie Thermae Roame was shot here. It also consists of an open-air bath wear visitors are allowed with swim-wears.
Nasu-Onsen Village has a quaint ambience giving you an old-world feel and carries you back to the ancient history of Japan. Have a nice trip and don't miss to take a dip in each hot-spring there.