Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Images and statues of a white fox appear all over the place in Yuda Onsen, a spa resort next to Yamaguchi City, even on the drain covers.
The reason is that local legend has it that the hot spring and its healing properties were discovered by a white fox.
A priest from a nearby temple saw an injured white fox bathing itself and from then there have been spas in the area.
This occurred in the Muromach period, about 800 years ago.
In 1707 the spas closed down as an eruption of Mt Fuji caused the springs to dry up, but they reopened 3 years later.
Since the onsen boom of the 1980's the number of ryokans and spas has increased dramatically, most of them leaning toward the expensive price range.
The waters have a reputation for healing rheumatism, neuralgia, and dermatitus.