Warming up from your feet
What is it?
In most of Onsen towns, you will find so-called “Public Foot Baths”.
Those are the place where you soak just your feet in (most cases) running hot water in public setting.
Link to Wikipedia in English for detailed explanation of what they are.
Basically because it warms you up.
But more precisely,
According to the idea based on Eastern Medicine, Your feet are supposed to have lots of vital function to your body system.
You must be familiar with Reflexology. That’s to massage the back of your feet where there are supposed to be so many different “Tsubo ツボ = Pressure Point” that are connected to different part of your body like organs and so on. Then by massaging them, you have those functions revitalised and re-activated.
There goes a similar theory here. At your feet, you have several thick veins and arteries. And they are the furthest from your heart. Therefore, in cold circumstances, you have less active circulation.
By warming up your feet, it encourages your blood circulation at the furthest point from your heart=Your feet, thus warmer body.
How to do Foot Bath
This is a no brainer. Take off your shoes/boots, sit down comfortably and simply soak your feet in the water.
What you need
So if you are staying at one of those Onsen towns in Japan, you want to carry a small towel called Tenugui=手拭い, at least. Ideally, a bath towel as well in your backpack so that you can always be ready to jump in an Onsen or soak your feet in any foot bath.
You now know one thing better than before.
Keep enjoying your time while travelling in Japan!
See you next time!
Ashiyu Wa Karada Ga Atatamari Masu 足湯は体が温まります = Ashiyu warms up my body