By Peter Sidell
Onsens give you a chance to soothe and relax your body in hot water. They are very popular in Japan and are found all over the country. Hot springs may seem intimidating at first but the experience is unforgettable. Bell Sakura no Yu, an onsen in Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture, promotes health and beauty in many different ways at its beautiful resort.
Bell Sakura no Yu
Upon entering the facility, you'll have to take your shoes off and hand your keys to the receptionist who will give you a wristband to wear. You can then go and buy some food, lie down in their oyasumi dokoro resting place, enjoy a massage in one of the massage chairs or in one of the rooms by a masseuse, see the hair salon to care for your hair, enjoy the hot springs, or seek out the other things they have available to promote health and beauty.
The facility is segregated by gender so females and males have their own hot springs. Before entering the bath, you must leave all your things in a locker. One small towel is permitted inside the hot springs. Importantly, you must wash yourself off in the showers right next to the indoor baths before entering any of the hot springs. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash is provided at each shower station.
The spa has many different onsens that vary by temperature. The outdoor hot springs give you an opportunity to enjoy the cool, night air, look up at the sky, and relax your mind and body. The onsens all have lights all around them, making it a scenic view that you can enjoy. Luxury baths for one person are available, maximizing the experience. You can even lie down and take a nap or enjoy the night sky while the hot spring water runs along your back.
Indoor bathing and saunas
Four kinds of hot baths are available inside, including the superjet or electric bath. The main bath is located inside next to some large windows giving you a chance to enjoy the night sky from indoors.
Different saunas are also available near the baths. There is a salt sauna, dry sauna, and a steam herb sauna. The temperatures and care to your body vary depending on what kind of sauna you choose. For example, in the salt sauna, you rub salt onto your skin and the heat melts it, resulting in your skin being disinfected.
After enjoying a hot spring or sauna, you can buy milk in the vending machine inside the locker room. They have coffee milk, fruit milk, and regular milk. It is common for people to drink milk after enjoying the hot springs.
Dining at the resort
Considering that people will often spend most of their day at the resort, food is of course available. Fresh food is available at the dining hall located right by the receptionist desk. Simply order your meals and eat at one of the tables in the cafeteria.
A beautiful onsen resort in Utsunomiya, Bell Sakura no Yu is guaranteed to relax and revitalise your mind and body.
Please note that to protect guest privacy, photographs are only allowed in restricted areas within the resort.
This onsen is located in Utsunomiya. If taking the JR Line to Utsunomiya Station, Bus #2 can be taken to Bell Mall. From Bell Mall, it is a 3-5 minute walk.
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