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Soaking in a hot spring (onsen) can be a defining experience for visitors to Japan. Mountainous Nagano Prefecture in central Honshu Island is famous for its hot springs, and this book provides a detailed guide in English to help non-Japanese speakers find and enjoy them. The focus is on day-use establishments: those whose main function is providing a bath and which usually close overnight, and those which provide overnight accommodation but also let day-use visitors “drop in” for a bath. There are hundreds of each kind in Nagano Prefecture. Some have stunning natural settings, others are steeped in history. Some have unique and beautiful architecture, while others are famous for the quality of their hot spring water. Developed during a year of intensive independent research, this guide provides a listing of the author's Top 100 day-use hot springs. Each entry includes a summary of the onsen's special points, bath types, water quality, opening hours, contact and location details, and directions by car and public transport. In addition to the Top 100 listings, the book has 100 full-colour photographs, details of a further 12 onsens awarded "honourable mentions", and a bonus chapter describing five luxury onsen accommodation providers.
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