Onsen are a Japanese national tradition, and a damn good one. Entire towns are devoted to them, like Naruko Onsen where we spent a night. They are hot mineral spring baths, fed by geothermal energy from the many volcanoes. There are big public ones, with the bathers separated by sex. Everyone is nude and there is no prudishness about it whatever. Some locations have private onsen, where you can go soak alone or with that certain special someone. The water is very hot but not scalding. Ease yourself in and unwind for a half hour. You will leave your muscles utterly relaxed and your skin as smooth as silk. Aahhh. Not recommended, though, right after dinner or drinking alcohol. You can’t imagine how good these feel until you have tried it. The town has its own scenic gorge nearby, where you can see autumn in Japan in all its glory.