|The Precious Steam of Kusatsu Onsen's Yubatake|
To the left, you can see two yunohana salespeople standing with their sales cart in front of the famous Kusatsu Yubatake. Despite the -10°C temperature (14
°F), they stoically served their customers.
In the picture below, you can see icicles hanging from the bottoms of the boxlike structures. These compose the yubatake. The hot water, which is naturally close to boiling temperature, rises directly from the earth and is channeled into these wooden structures with glass tops. As the water passes through, steam rises to the top. Crystals adhere to the surfaces. The farmers scrape off the crystals and crush them into powered form. The removal of some of the thick minerals in the water is advantageous to the nearby hotels who use the hot water after it has passed through the yubatake. The benefit is that the thick mineral water does not collect and clog the hotel plumbing. Enough minerals do pass through, though, to ensure that various medical conditions of guests are alleviated by bathing.
|Scalding Water Inside Icicles Outside|
|The Yubatake in Winter|
|Water Runoff from the Flower Garden|
|The Lovely Pool at the End|
|Kusatsu Onsen Special Soft Cream Advertisement. It was tasty!|
|Kusatsu Yunohana in Crushed and Powdered Form|
Japanese yunohana can be purchased at many hot springs and souvenir shops throughout Japan. If you are not in Japan, you can order Japanese bath salts from various companies. Goods from Japan is one.
To read about specific hot springs in Kusatsu and Kusatsu culture, please read this post and this one, too.
Do not confuse the usage of "bath salts" in this post with the new slang terminology for a class of illegal drugs that you might have read about in the news.