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Hori 004

Horai Onsen by Kengo Kuma, Atami-shi, Japan, 2003

The Japanese onsen is an ancient import arriving, it is theorised, with Buddhism, for which it served as a ritual bath. In Japan, these foreign ideas fell on fertile, volcanic ground. The preponderance of natural hot springs created a nation of bath addicts, and the onsen continues to be enormously popular today. Many are attached to traditional ryokan or inns in rural areas, where the bath is usually an outdoor pool fed by a hot spring. Architecture is often absent from such sites, ...

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