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Tuesday, 22nd July 2014
In General Japan News,

Hot spring discovered in Tokyo office area

The heart of Tokyo's main business district may well be redeveloped following the news that a Japanese real estate company has discovered a natural hot spring deep beneath the ground there.

According to officials from Mitsubishi Estate, the discovery was made at a depth of 1,500 metres within the Otemachi district during a redevelopment project last month, with a recent expert review confirming that it is indeed a hot spring.

Initial reports suggest the spring flows at a rate of 240 litres per minute at a temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius and contains sodium and iodine, which may well be useful in providing relief for neuralgia and joint pain.

Workers unearthed the spring during a construction project that will eventually see a 31-storey office tower and an 18-storey accommodation block at the 11,200 square-metre site. The project began in April and will hopefully be completed within two years.

However, Mitsubishi Estate intends to treat the discovery as an opportunity, with plans to adjust its initial designs to incorporate a health spa, fitness club and Japanese-style inn at the complex. 

Hot springs are often used to supply onsen - or communal bathing - in Japanese culture, a pleasant experience that is said to help the locals escape from the hectic troubles and woes of the day.

They are popular with locals, attracting couples, families or even company groups. It is common for tourists to want to experience this unique part of Japanese culture, although those embarking on onsen should be advised there is a strict etiquette to follow.

Clothes must be stripped off and all bathers must shower before entering the actual onsen pool. The management will likely remind tourists of this at the door.

Onsen facilities are common in the Japanese countryside, although there are several that exist within large cities such as Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo as well.

Related news stories:
New hot springs resort opens in Tokyo (20th July 2016)
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony (18th September 2014)