The magic of Onsen (hotspring)
Onsen is one of the most loved form of relaxation in Japan. It is totally a relaxing, warm and social experience for the Japanese as well as foreigners. There are numerous hot-spring inns and hotels around Matsumoto. I picked 'Yume no Yu" (dream hot-spring) in Asama Onsen area as its proximity to the City. It was really relaxing and pleasurable experience.
Yume no Yu hotel: 3-4-16 Asama Onsen, Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Japan is FULL of interesting differences with other countries. For example:
TOILETS : Public toilets in Japan are mostly the squating variety although count yourself lucky if you happen to find an electronic 'space rocket' toilet with lots of fancy gagets to play with!
TAXIS : Avoid taking taxis as they are exorbitantly expensive but if you do happen to use one... The driver will open the rear door automatically upon entry and exit. Don't try to do this yourself.
DRINKING MANNERS : If you happen to go out with other Japanese people watch to see what they do before you do it. Before you drink it is customary to say kanpai (cheers), You should fill the glass of the people around you but not your own!! When getting your glass filled hold it with two hands and say sumimasen! (sorry!). Everyone is bound to tell you how wonderful your Japanese is!
BOWING: It is customary in Japan to bow for respect. I will bow when I cross the street to a car that has stopped. I will bow when I have asked for information from someone in the street. The list goes on... remember you can never bow to much!
(When meeting Japanese people you should bow to them NOT shake their hand and say 'hajimemashite').
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