All About Japan

Boil Eggs by the Sidewalk in this Onsen Town

Onsen Japanese Countryside Shoryudo Nagano

Nozawa Onsen is located in northern Nagano Prefecture, host of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. With 30 distinct hot springs and 13 public onsen, or soto-yu, Nozawa Onsen has been renowned for its hot springs since the Edo Period (1603–1868).

The soto-yu, cared for by a villagers' association called yu-nakama ("hot water friends"), are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and are free to use. The water runs very hot, though some—including O-yu, the best-known soto-yu—have cold-water taps to help bring the temperature down. And one, Kumanotearaiyu, hovers at a "cool," 41 to 42 degrees Celsius.

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