Perhaps we traveled here during a poor choice of season, as it was unbearably hot and humid--obviously a dip in a HOT spring would not be the first on my mind. However, we were interested in the history and what nature had to offer us tourists. The hot springs it self were quite beautiful, and to my surprise the waters flowed clean and clear. However, there were a few springs that were closed off, and looked more dirty. The public hot spring area was filled with patrons taking a dip, and this was on a week day during the month of June, mind you!
We didn't dare join them in the bath, due to several reasons. The main reason being health reasons and unsanitary conditions. Sure, the human body can tough through many bacteria, and only very few can survive the high temperatures of hot spring water, but it is not a guarantee. In addition, it is quite dangerous for pregnant women, young children, those with a heart condition, or those elderly or frail, and also directly affects male fertility. I did not see any signs indicating these concerns, but it is worth being aware if you are not already.
If I were to visit again, I would prefer to make a reservation at a hotel to experience the hot spring water in the privacy and comfort of my own room with a proper bathroom and shower.
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