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Onsen SpotsAtami Onsen

Do you know about the historical figure Tokugawa Ieyasu? He established the Edo shogunate which continued some 270 years from 1603, and he was the founding shogun. One of the things he liked most was Atami Onsen hot spring resort.

Atami Onsen has a 1,500 year history and is located to the southeast of Japan’s most famous mountain, Mount Fuji, and near the Pacific Ocean. “Atami (熱海)” literally means “hot sea,” which name is derived from a folk tale that hot water gushed out from the sea and heated the sea water in this area. Atami has flourished together with the hot springs and now attracts as many as 3.5 million tourists a year. After the Meiji Restoration (1868), political leaders came to discuss affairs of state and ministerial meetings took place here. A great number of writers have visited and written about Atami in their novels. Among such novels, in particular “Konjiki-yasha,” written by novelist Koyo Ozaki (1868-1903), featured Atami and enhanced its fame.

The quantity of the water is ample and there remain plenty of old hot springs. You can make an “onsen-egg” for yourself at Ozawa-no-yu. This is a boiled egg using spouting steam. Please prepare your own eggs, which can be bought at shops nearby. There is a foot bath, Ieyasu-no-yu, in front of Atami Station. Sea bathing at the beach, where palm trees line the shore, is fun in summer and walking on the beach is also enjoyable even in winter. Firework festivals are regularly held from summer to winter.

Atami Baien (Japanese apricot garden) is well known for apricot flowers and autumn leaves. Some 730 apricot trees of 64 kinds have been much loved by huge numbers of people since the garden’s opening 120 years ago. Hatsushima, an island 25 minutes away by high-speed boat from Atami, has become popular in recent years as an isolated island that is the closest to Tokyo. Visitors can enjoy several hundred varieties of subtropical plants and shopping at Hatsushima Island Resort. You will feel at home in the relaxed atmosphere of the slow-mode island, without taxis and convenience stores.

If you are interested in Japanese traditional art, why don’t you visit Atami Kenban Kaburenjo? The Kaburenjo, where geigi (geisha) undergo rigorous training, is open to the public every Saturday and visitors can watch dance and other performances. After the show, you can talk and take pictures with the geigi.

It is said that Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered that water be transported to Edo (now Tokyo) where he lived because he favored the waters of Atami so much. Nowadays, it takes just 50 minutes by Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo. Please enjoy a day-trip or stay overnight at an onsen hotel.

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Efficacy Neuralgia, cuts, burns, and others
Address Atami-shi, Shizuoka
Link Atami Hot Spring Ryokan and Hotel Association

Onsen Spots

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