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10

Your first point is almost universally true. Whilst there are a few onsen that allow swimming suits and the like, the vast majority do not. The only one I've experienced was in Kagoshima, and this was because it was a small but famous onsen; too small to segregate men and women and so Japanese yukata were permitted. As for your second point, yes, you ...


10

Mixed gender onsen are indeed increasingly rare, and younger ladies frequenting them tend to wear swimsuits these days. Most of the remaining ones I know of are public, free and have no staff on site. They're also very basic, with usually just a single bath, so they're mixed more by necessity than choice -- there isn't really any alternative! Nyuto (or, ...


9

A Swiss online resource I know is this one. It lists a lot of Spas in Switzerland that are worth a visit. I quickly checked it, and all I know of are on the list. Unfortunately the list is in German, but at least some of the further links are also available in English. If you're looking for an English resource I would recommend this site. It also lists a ...


9

To say that there are mineral water springs in Bulgaria is somewhat of an understatement. According to Wikipedia, there are 225 sites with flow rate of more than 5000 l/s. Most hot springs are in Southern Bulgaria, south of Stara Planina, particularly in west Rodopi mountain, as well as Struma and Mesta valleys. Note that these are somewhat difficult to ...


8

Almost without fail, swimming costumes are required. As are towels, so as not to drip everywhere. There are however, sometimes private pools you can reserve (indoors) - for example, at Hanmer Springs, and I suspect a lot of the time, swimming costumes may not be used there, although I think officially they'd be required. However, there are a few ...


7

There's a Thermal Spa Centre! The new thermal spa centre, on the opposite bank of the river Passirio, was opened during the 1970’s and is furnished with the most modern equipment for therapeutic treatment. It also houses an indoor swimming-pool filled with thermal water and the natural radio-activity in this water has a most beneficial pathological effect. ...


7

I'm not sure about spas, but if you're interested in hot baths, there are quite a few in the lake Geneva area (the area I'm familiar with): (Note: I've only ever been to the first two) Ovronnaz Up in the mountains, astounding view, surrounded by mountains. In the winter, you can be outside, up to your neck in steaming water, with snow falling on your ...


7

In addition to codinghands's great answer I would like to add a few pointers: Make sure the onsen provides a large and small towel for visitors or bring your own While you can't wear any clothing in the bath, you can cover up with a small towel When in Rome, do as the Romans Towels Depending on the onsen, towels (a smaller washcloth, and a larger towel ...


6

Found it! It's called the "Boiling River", and information is here: http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/swimming-in-yellowstone-6975.html Additionally, there is some swimming allowed in parts of the Firehole River, along the scenic drive. Update, just got back from Yellowstone, and candidly, the Boiling River is possibly the most underrated ...


6

Japanese-themed and Japanese-operated Maruia Springs on the spine of the South Island has a Japanese-style public bathhouse where swimwear is optional: Pretty much everywhere else, including the outdoor area at Maruia itself, swimwear is required.


6

I've been told that onsen geisha still exist on the web site Immortal Geisha. Another place to see onsen geisha is Higashiyama Onsen, which is in Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima province. (Thanks Immortal Geisha user Hisayakko) I had dinner with two geishas from Higashiyama Onsen there. I booked an evening with geishas via the Higashiyama Onsen Tourism ...


6

"Onsen Geisha" is rather a locality issue than a "what do they do" issue. Towns that are famous for onsen have sometimes stage shows in hotels that anyone who visits can see. Example: http://www.atami-furuya.co.jp/geisha/ You can however just as well have a private performance such as in this place: http://www.horita-spa.com/party.html If you want to ...


5

Those onsen requiring swimsuits are basically those in amusement parks or other trendy non-traditional facilities. Anything else, you can rest assured will not require swimsuits.


5

I'm a big fan of Georgia, having visited twice and lived there for seven months the last time, yet I had not heard of this place. It's not "Saltona" but "Tskaltubo", "Tsqaltubo", or "Tskhaltubo" (Georgian: წყალტუბო, Russian: Цхалтубо). It's the name of a town and a spa resort in Imereti province in the south-west of the country. It's less than 20km to the ...


4

Bathing in the cave dates back to the 18th century when the Icelandic outlaw Jón Markússon lived in the area and bathe there. Until the 1970s many Icelanders bathed at Grjótagjá, men in one cave and women in another. The Krafla eruptions from 1975 to 1984 caused the water in the cave to rise above 50°C. Water temperatures forced the “closing” of ...


4

In France, there is the "Pavillon Bleu" label which marks beaches where water quality is such that you can bathe safely. This has spread internationally, as the Blue Flag programme. From the site: The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3850 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New ...


4

It turned out that while there were separate areas for men and women for the indoor spas, outdoors, there was only a mixed section, and a section for women only. So being in the mixed section was not so much permitted as mandatory! There is a slang term for males who only go to mixed gender onsen to see naked females. They're called wani (ワニ). Many Japanese ...


3

Borjomi might seem to be the closest to the places I described in Japan. A friend of a friend just went there and provided a snowy winter photo: Thanks to my friend's friends for permission to use this photo.


3

First of all, there are some hot springs in Georgia. But it seems to be difficult to find the hot springs. I found the following three cities that have at least hot springs in spas, but I'm not sure if there are also open-air hot springs. But at least those cities are a good starting point: Tsqaltubo some hot springs, but couldn't find out if they are ...


3

The Schwabenquellen bath in Stuttgart, Germany is also a nudist bath, but they have one day a month when they require a bathing suit. Other baths in Germany do it the other way around like the Schenkenseebad in Schwäbisch Hall (not too far from Stuttgart or Baden Baden). It has one day a month for people who like to swim in the nude. In general in Germany ...


3

And something completely different... If you happen to visit Geneva, then you could try going to "Bains des Pâquis". Located in the very city centre, on the Geneva lake, this place allows you to relax in sauna/hammam, swim in the lake and enjoy delicious fondue afterwards. Booking in advance is recommended. Also check the opening hours. This association ...


3

A few years ago I wrote up a comprehensive guide on going to and getting in onsens for my local website (I love onsens, and have lived in Japan for 8 years). The above answer is correct, however if you'd like more details as well as a start-to-finish getting-in-the-onsen guide, feel free to check out the "Onsen Experience" section at the following link. ...


3

After visiting Grjótagjá, I'm able to respond my own question since @MikkaRin answer is not as complete as it should be. When you arrive to Grjótagjá you find these panel: It's self-explanatory: "The public is prohibited from bathing or use of caves for purposes other than for inspection and photography". Given this, it states that the temperature is ...


3

Sort of, depending on what you're expecting. There aren't many (any?) natural hot springs within day trip distance of Sydney. To get to natural hot water supplies, you'll have to travel to above the Artesian Basin (six hours drive one-way) or more further afield. However spa resorts and day spas have become a big thing in Australia, from the truly ...


3

The town of Nikko itself, where the Toshogu shrine is located, is not in a volcanic area and thus does not have any onsen hot springs. You have three choices in the vicinity: Kinugawa. Once a beautiful river valley, now a festering shithole scarred by the hulks of rusting, shuttered concrete hulks left over from the bursting of the bubble. It's probably ...


2

Maybe Yumoto Onsen? It's a bit more than an hour by bus from Nikko. For an Onsen in a Ryokan, check Kinugawa Onsen, which is around 30 minutes by train from Nikko.


2

There are 3 possible places in the Rotorua area for nude bathing. Wai-O-Tapu stream at the small bridge near the ticket office to the Wai-O-Tapu thermal park. This however has become more popular in recent times and its a bit hit and miss with regards to nudity. Same deal at Kerosene Creek a few kilometers from Wai-O-Tapu - if there are families or lots of ...


1

Another nice place I visit is Leukerbad There are mountain activities (e.g skiing during winter, hiking during summertime) and two good public bath: Burgerbad Therme Walliser Alpentherme If you plan to stay more than one day, a pass can be a solution as it gives free entrance to both bath (unlimited time) and to the cableways (Torrent and Gemmi). ...



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