Ashi-yu at Kinugawa-Onsen Station

For free, tourists can soak in hot foot bath

By Victoria Vlisides    - 1 min read

Don’t make a stop at Kinugawa-Onsen Station in Tochigi without first taking a break at the refreshing ashi-yu (足湯), or foot bath.

Just outside the station is a free hot bath for your feet, where weary travelers can get a quick reprieve under this open-air pavilion. It is one of four foot baths in the Kinugawa area. Even in hot weather, it’s a way to refresh from a long day of sightseeing.

Kinugawa is a hot spring resort town that is a tourist attraction about 30 minutes by train from Nikko Station. An ashi-yu is just one type of Japanese onsen (温泉), or hot spring bath. The ashi-yu is typically found in popular onsen areas, often times free of charge. Slip off your shoes and socks, sit down and soak in the foot bath from open hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bath seats at least 15 people.

Getting there

From Nikko, use the Tobu Kinugawa Line to travel to Kinugawa-Onsen Station (鬼怒川温泉駅).

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Victoria Vlisides

Victoria Vlisides @victoria.vlisides

Trained journalist who's not yet jaded. Can't get enough of meeting new people, the view, cheap travel, cherry-blossom-flavored food, dinner&drinks. Painfully addicted to Japan's gochya-gochya machines. If you're the type of person to try something new vs. something you know you like, we'll get along. I'm originally from the USA. Now in Chiba Prefecture, and August 2016 marks two years in Japan. I've worked in journalism/newspapers for more than 5 years. My:  Blog  --  Instagram   Travels in Japan (in brief): Kagoshima (Yakushima), Shizuoka (Gunma (Oze National Park, Mt. Shibutsu, Minakamix2), Tochigi (Kinugawa-Onsen, Nikko), Hyogo (Kobex2, Arima Hot Springs), Kyoto x3, Osaka, Nagano (Hakuba), Yamanashi (Katsunuma, Kawaguchiko area, Mt. Daibosatsu x3), Okinawa, Aichi (Nagoya), Kanagawa (Yokohama, Enoshima, Hakone, Kamakura), Tokyo (of course), Chiba (Choshi, Onjuku Beach, Otaki Forest, Otaki Castle, Nokogiriyama, Chiba City, Isumi, Kamogawa), Gifu, Ibaraki (Hitachi Seaside Park), Saitama (Kawaguchi), Shizuoka (Izu), Tokushima Travels outside of Japan: South Korea, Italy, Greece, France, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico x2, 22 states within the USA Future travel goals: Fukuoka, (SK) Seoul (again!), Hokkaido, Mt. Zao, Hiroshima, Mt. Fuji, Daito Islands (Okinawa), Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Iceland, Norway, Kyrgastan