The Hachimantai Plateau straddles the border of Iwate and Akita Prefectures. A large area around its summit is covered by wetlands and during the warmer months, from June onward, these marshes turn into a garden of alpine flowers, attracting visitors from near and far. The Hachimantai region also boasts a wealth of hot springs. There are various ways to enjoy this gift of nature, such as by relaxing in a Rotenburo (open-air bath), while enjoying the view. Or you can enjoy Ganban-yoku, lying down on the warm rocks, soaking in the heat that emanates from the earth. In this area, people like to book into hot spring facilities for long-term stays of a week or more. This system, known as "toji," has long been popular among farmers who come to rest and ease their fatigue in the off-season. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Shizuka Anderson from Canada discovers the beauty of the unspoiled natural environment on Mt. Hachimantai, and then experiences firsthand this special form of hot-spring relaxation, which heals both body and soul.
Episode Duration: 28 minutes and 3 seconds
Episode Number: 518
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