“The Onsen Experience”: New Travel Guide Book Into Japan’s Eco-Friendly Onsens For Your Next Sustainable Trip

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In a new wellness-focused travel guide, author and avid traveler Iris Law with local publisher Man Mo Media takes readers on a journey into Japan’s most beautiful and eco-friendly onsen ryokan accommodations. Titled The Onsen Experience: A Guide to Japan’s Hot Spring Sanctuaries, the 160-page book unlocks the history, culture and design behind Japan’s tradition-rich hot springs and how your next Japan onsen trip can benefit our own health and well-being while minimising our impact on the environment. 

Local publisher Man Mo Media has just published a new travel guide, The Onsen Experience, written by Hong Kong-based author and seasoned travel enthusiast Iris Law. The book explores Japan’s relaxing and restorative hot springs through a wellness-focused lens, from the history to design intentions and carefully tailored specifications behind onsen baths across the country. 

In addition to informative explanations, the health implications of Japan’s hot springs are also covered, featuring alongside beautiful photography and a collection of anecdotal stories. 

While there are many travel guides that depict Japan’s extraordinary natural hot springs, The Onsen Experience takes a special holistic approach to the experience and focuses on its wellness and eco-friendly aspects. 

Having been to over 100 onsen spots across Japan over her years of travel, Law detailed in one of her chapters the inherent sustainability and alignment with nature of many hot springs. In particular, aoni onsen is powered without electricity and is instead lit with lamps, providing visitors with a natural experience that conserves energy. Law also revealed that though they are not usually advertised as such, all ryokan are traditionally sustainability-focused and are energy saving. 

Alongside the eco-friendliness of traditional onsen experiences, Law explores the regional culinary delights that are available in onsen hotels that are focused on both human well-being and the planet’s health. Satoyama Jujo, for instance, promotes healthy organic eats inspired by Ayurvedic traditions and offers a menu composed primarily of organic, locally-grown and plant-based ingredients.

While virtually no segment of the global economy has been left unscathed by the coronavirus pandemic – especially the hard-hit travel industry – experts do believe that once the crisis is over, the sustainable travel sector will experience a boom as consumer concerns about the environment and health reach an all time high. 

Some trend predictors, including renowned trendspotter Li Edelkoort, have said that the coronavirus will make people move away from material belongings and lean towards meaningful, healthy and experienced-based services that do not harm the planet. 

The Onsen Experience: A Guide To Japan’s Hot Spring Sanctuaries is now available across Hong Kong bookstores (Bookazine) and online via Amazon or Man Mo Media’s website

All images courtesy of Man Mo Media.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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