Why don’t we have a bath in a train station? 駅の中で温泉はいかが? 

(日本語は英語の後に続きます。)

Japanese people are known for their love for hot spring. We are said to be more shy and reserved compared to western people. However when it comes to hot spring, we don’t mind being completely naked in front of others and share a big bath with random people.

So hot springs are everywhere when you’re away from big cities in Japan. Here, you can actually enjoy hot spring inside of a station.The station is called Hottoyuda and it means “hot water”. This is a gateway of Yuda onsen area in this tiny town in Iwate Prefecture.

My mother is from this area and me and my sister were taken to this small local hot spring when we were small. I recall it was strange to feel that we were enjoying hot spring inside of a train station, but thought everything else was normal.

If you happen to be in a very remote area in up north, and if you have the time to get on a very small train (has only one carriage) that departs only every couple of hours from Kitakami the closest Shinkansen station, check this out. There are quite a few normal hot spring places around here and even though it’s really far out, you can see real Japanese countryside. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and people here will welcome you with heartwarming hospitality.

温泉好きで知られている日本人。西洋人に比べてシャイで控えめと言われますが、温泉となれば他人の前で裸になり、見知らぬ人と一緒に湯船につかることなど気にしないですよね。

都市を離れればたくさんある温泉ですが、ここでは駅の中で温泉につかることができます。駅の名も、ほっとゆだ。岩手県湯田温泉郷の玄関です。

母がこの辺りの出身だったため、私と妹は子供の頃にこの小さな温泉を訪れました。駅の中で温泉につかるなんて変な気分だなと思いつつ、駅であることを除けば普通の温泉だったのを覚えています。

東北の僻地にいて、新幹線北上駅から数時間に1本しかない1両編成の電車に揺られる時間がある方は、足を運んでみてください。付近には温泉旅館がありますし、人里離れた場所ですが、日本らしい田舎風景を目にすることができます。その景色は息をのむほど美しく、地元の人々は心温まるおもてなしで歓迎してくれるでしょう。

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