Source: Gaijin Pot
The Tohoku region is known for its beautiful mountains, delicious rice, snowfall and hot springs. What better way to enjoy all of the above than at a ryokan (Japanese inn) that can provide access to these Tohoku treasures?
Within the onsen, or hot spring, realm is a rare and dying breed of bath — konyoku. Konyoku onsen are mixed gender baths that have been around for hundreds of years. As time went on and cultures mixed in Japan, new laws have made it harder for these ancient establishments to continue their traditions. What was considered normal in Japan was considered lewd and inappropriate. Therefore, Japan changed her ways to better fit the conservative palate of the international society. Whether you are bathing with your significant other or a group of friends, keep a part of Japan’s old culture alive by visiting one of the Tohoku region’s many konyoku onsen.
1. Aoni Onsen
Longing for a magical, off the grid getaway? Aoni Onsen, also known as Lamp no Yado, is the place for you. As the name suggests, this ryokan uses oil lamps to light up the building and kerosene to keep the rooms cozy during the chilly seasons. In fact, very little electricity is used at all. The mixed outdoor bath is cozy and rejuvenating while the tranquil woods surrounding it have their own mentally clarifying properties.