Types of Onsen and Therapeutic Effects

Onsen contains many types chemical ingredients, and depending on the type of Onsen, different therapeutic effects can be expected.

Each hot spring facilities posts a chart with all the information about the hot spring. However, all in Japanese! Here you can learn basic characteristics and therapeutic effects of the majority of hot springs found in Japan.

 

Types of Onsen
Chloride Spring "enka butsusen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
There are 3 types of Chloride Springs (Salt, Calcium, and Magnesium ). Being an island, Japan has many Salt Chloride Springs. Salt connects with the protein and the fat on the surface of the skin and retains the body temperature. Cuts, Burns, Chronic Skin Disease, Chronic Gynecological Disorders, Muscle/Joint Pain etc

 

Types of Onsen
Sodium Bicarbonate Saline Spring
"tansan suiso ensen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
Sodium Bicarbonate is alkaline. It washes off the fat from the surface of the skin and makes the skin smooth, therefore, it is called "water for the beautiful skin". After bathing, water evaporates quickly from the surface of the skin and cools off the body. Cuts, Burns, Chronic Skin Disease, etc

 

Types of Onsen
Sulphate Spring "ryusan sen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
This spring is known as "water for cuts and bruises". There are three types of springs: Calcium sulphate, Sodium sulphate, and Magnesium sulphate. Cuts, Burns, Chronic Skin Disease, Arteriosclerosis, Chronic Constipation(when drunk) etc

 

Types of Onsen
Ferruginous Spring (Iron) "gantetsu sen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
There are two types of Ferruginous Spring: Carbonated Iron Spring, and Melanterite Spring. As the spring oxidizes, it gets brown. Ferruginous Spring is said to replenish the body's iron levels through the absorption from the skin, and drinking. Menstrual disorders, Anemia, etc

 

Types of Onsen
Sulphur Spring "io sen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
Sulphur spring that contains hydrogen sulfide has a distinct smell of bad eggs. It is said that the vapor containing hydrogen sulfide is good for the chronic bronchitis. However, the gas is toxic and proper ventilation is essential. Sulphur spring expands the blood vessels and helps reduce the blood pressure. Cuts, Diabetes, Chronic Skin Disease, High Blood Pressure, Joint Pain etc

 

Types of Onsen
Acidic Spring "sansei sen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
This type of Spring is found in highlands of volcanic countries like Japan. Acidic spring is stimulus and its antibacterial effect is said to be good for the skin, however not recommended for people with sensitive skin. Also, the highlands with acidic spring has been a popular place to visit to develop physical strength. Chronic Skin Disease, Chronic Gynecological Disorders etc

 

Types of Onsen
Carbon Dioxide Spring "nisanka tanso ensen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
The soda water expands the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure. It also retains the body temperature. Rheumatism, etc

 

Types of Onsen
Simple Thermal Spring "tanjun onsen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
All the hot springs that does not contain enough minerals meet the criteria for specific Onsen are categorized as Simple Thermal Spring. This is the most common type of spring found in Japan. A wide range of mild effects

 

Types of Onsen
Radioactive Spring "hoshano sen"
Characteristics Therapeutic Effects
It contains a tiny amount of radioactive minerals. Radioactive spring lowers the blood pressure, and helps the body produce uric acid. Gout, Circulatory Disease, High Blood Pressure, Rheumatism etc