I'd heard about the "bath in the sea" in Aomori Prefecture, Honshu's northernmost prefecture and a mere 600 km north of Tokyo. But this kaichuburo, as they call it in Japanese, isn't about splashing in the waves; it's a hot spring, and it's named Furo Fushi Onsen (hot spring of eternal youth and eternal life). As I'm not getting any younger, how can I not go there?

The hot spring is a part of an inn called Koganezaki Furo Fushi Onsen in Fukaura Town, about 70 km from Hirosaki City.

When I visited, the weather was poor, the misty rain meaning some visitors were hanging back from entering the outside baths. Others, however, made the plunge and were enjoying this unusual hot-spring located just five steps away from the stony shore of the Sea of Japan. It really does make you feel as if you are taking a hot bath in the sea.