You hear us going on about onsen all the time, but what exactly are they? Onsen (温泉) are natural hot springs. Because Japan is a volcanic island, it has numerous onsen which each have their own unique properties and benefits. Many Japanese people will travel great distances to experience different onsen. The onsen water we use is from Miyazaki, which has iodine. You may know iodine as the brownish sticky substance used on cuts and scrapes. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it is great for treating blemishes. But it also soothes and heals dry, irritated skin too!
A ryokan (旅館) is a traditional Japanese inn. They are often built near onsen, so people stay the night when going to the onsen. They are a chance to experience traditional Japanese lifestyle and local specialties.
Traditional Japanese rooms are floored with tatami (畳) mats which are thick, woven straw.
As such, indoor slippers are worn to prevent damage them as they were very expensive in the past- a luxury only the wealthy could afford. Tatami are also used as a form of measurement for the size a room
Another distinctive feature of traditional Japanese rooms are paper sliding doors called shoji (障子). Because, traditionally, the Japanese use low tables, people sit on the floor on cushions called zabuton (座布団).
Dinner served at ryokan are usually a kaiseki (懐石) which is a traditional multi-course Japanese meal. It showcases a range of skills and techniques making it similar to haute cuisine in the West. There’s a strong focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and at ryokan they often feature local specialties.
In Japan, people to onsen as a form of "maintenance" for overall health. The restorative water has a myriad of benefits healing both the inside and outside. These benefits have been previously limited to Japan. Until now! Make onsen part of your skincare ritual with Gensen.