In Japan, Even Animals Like To Sit In The Hot Springs

Japanese people love to sit in Onsen (hot springs), and so do the animals. Here are 9 spots in Japan where you can sight non-human visitors taking soaks!

1. Jigokudani Yaen Park In Nagano Prefecture

Jigokudani is famous for attracting large population of Japanese Macaques (commonly known as “snow monkeys”) to sit in its warm hot springs during winter.

2. Hakodate Botanical Garden in Hokkaido

This is another popular hot spring site for snow monkeys.

3. Japan Racing Association (JRA) Hakodate Headquarter in Hokkaido

JRA Hakodate Headquarter is the organization’s only facility that carries hot springs for racehorses. A large number of racehorses come here from all over Japan to heal injuries and joint inflammation.

4. Izu Shaboten Park in Shizuoka Prefecture

Capybaras are known to love hot springs. There are 16 places in Japan you can observe capybaras taking baths in hot springs, this is one of them.

5. Semi Onsen in Iwate Prefecture: Hot Springs for Dogs and Cats

Semi Onsen is actually a hot spring for humans, but they offer a separate hut specially made for dogs and cats.

6. Takaragawa Onsen in Gunma Prefecture

This hot spring used to have bears and people hang out in the hot springs together, but since Japan’s animal control regulations were introduced, the facility no longer allows bears to take baths freely near humans. These are some old photos from back in the day when it was okay to do so.

7. Hells of Beppu (Yamajigoku) in Oita Prefecture

Due to the steam from hot springs, this area stays relatively warm all year long, making it possible to raise a hippo in the hot spring.

8. Nagasaki Bio Park in Nagasaki Prefecture

This is another spot you can watch capybaras in the hot spring. Evidently they take showers there too.

Sometimes the staff would throw in some citrus and pomelo fruits to make it even more relaxing. It’s like capybara spa!

9. Yamazaki Ryokan, Iwama Onsen in Ishikawa Prefectur

Yamazaki Ryokan is a small, traditional-style Japanese inn that only opens for summer and autumn. They offer nice reclusive hot springs for human visitors, and using the overflown water from the main spring, your canine friends can take a soak too.


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