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Yoshikawa Onsen: A history lesson in the evolution of sea water

Yoshikawa onsen of Saitama Prefecture boasts of having a 1500 meter, magma heated, 10,000,000 year old water source which supplies most of its ten plus therapy baths through out its huge super sento complex. I myself couldn’t believe it at first because I know for a fact that even with the latest carbon dating techniques, seawater can be successfully traced back from as far as 5 million years, even before the earth’s most recent ice age, which lasted for over a million years (Pleistocene Epoch).

So what’s all the fuss about seawater baths, anyway ? Well, according to the experts seawater is mineral rich and is derived from several salts through weathering and erosion of continental rocks. Seawater has been known to be the therapy of choice for centuries. Some notable physicians of today, like Dr. Patrick Flanagan, attest to the many reported benefits of seawater therapy, which include, but are not limited to improved circulation, treatment of atopic dermatitis providing antiseptic effects to the skin and reduced itching sensation.

But, the 10,000,000 year old seawater claim still haunts me. Even if the seawater was just a million years old, then that would be enough. I’ve bathed in Yoshikawa’s waters of life twice! And though I cannot attest to its 10,000,000 year old water claim, it sure makes for a darn great onsen bath experience. Just soaking in the water for five minutes is enough to put you out and into a deep and pleasant sleep of Ice Ages gone by.

On the JR Musashino Line get off at Yoshikawa station then take the north exit. From there it’s a one minute walk to Yoshikawa Onsen. It’s 850 yen for adults on weekdays and 950 yen on weekends. Other amenities are extra so bring your own towel and rag. The phone number is 048-982-2647


Of course all services are available in English.

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