Top 10 hot springs in Japan
Hot water percolates up out of the ground from one end of Japan to the other...
This wonderful working village tucked in a picturesque corner of the eastern Japan Alps is both a humming winter ski resort and a year-round onsen town – worth visiting any time of year. Settled as early as the 8th century, it's compact and quaint, though the maze of narrow streets will challenge even the best of drivers.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Hongū is a good starting point for visiting the onsen nearby. The spiffy Kumano Hongū Heritage Centre has detailed information in English about the sacred Kumano region. Amid rice paddies behind the heritage centre is Japan's largest torii (39.9m tall), made out of steel and painted dramatic black.