Ofuro and the art of Japanese water therapy

Nestled amidst the volcanic peaks of Japan’s Mount Shirane, the Kusatsu Onsen hot springs beckons total wellbeing and full-body relaxation. Lancôme dives in.

Consider it the number one destination for any stressed-out Tokyo-dweller. And no wonder, because situated at 1200m above sea level in a setting that’s veiled with volcanic smoke, the place in itself immediately switches the mind into Zen mode. The secret? Most go to cleanse the body and spirit with the hot springs’ legendary Ofuro treatment.

Firstly, let yourself go as a warm, heavy mist is pumped over the body to help soothe built-up muscle tension, boost tissue oxygenation and increase blood circulation. Next up, enjoy a full-body scrub to increase energy, followed finally by complete submersion (for over 20 minutes) in a special extra-large Japanese ‘furo’ bathtub. Made from a fragrant Hinoki cedar, these ‘furos’ are designed to keep the region’s mineral-rich spring water at the ideal temperature (between 104°F and 140°F) and once filled with rose petal and essential oil-infused water they are ideal for awakening the senses. The final result? Full body relaxation matched with plenty of spiritual fulfillment.

Kusatsu Onsen Hot Springs, 3-9 Kusatsu, Agatsuma-gun, Nakanojo-machi 377-1700, Gunma Prefecture, Japan.