Ashiyu - Onsen For Your Feet
Have you tried onsen in Japan? There are many famous hot spring areas in the country and most of them offer both full baths and ashiyu. Ashiyu （足湯）is an onsen foot bath. Try it. A warm foot bath is the perfect way to rest, especially after a long walk.
Kinugawa Onsen near Nikko
In many onsen resorts you can find ashiyu spots. I found a very nice one on a trip to Kinugawa Onsen near Nikko right in front of the station. This bath can be used free of charge, but it is closed during the night.
Arashiyama in Kyoto
There are some train stations with an ashiyu bath inside. You might want to take a later train and wait here on purpose. Arashiyama in Kyoto has a cute ashiyu bath. I have very good memories waiting for the train in the evening here, talking, relaxing, and warming up on a cold evening. For just 200 yen you can bathe your feet and get a small towel from Randen Train.
Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Tokyo
The big Oedo Onsen Monogatari bath has an ashiyu path outside. To use it you have to pay the entrance fee and change into the yukata robes provided. Then you can meet with your friends in the onsen garden, sit down for a chat with your feet in the water and walk down the path filled with warm water and pebbles. The stones will massage your feet while you walk. If you hear a Japanese guest suddenly scream ITAI, they felt the pain of the stone reflexology. http://www.ooedoonsen.jp/daiba/english/hotspa.html
Enoshima island near Kamakura
Near Tokyo within day trip distance I recommend Enoshima island. Walk across the bridge to the island and then turn right. On the terrace in front of the Enoshima Island Spa you will find a small ashiyu with ocean view. On clear days you cansee Mt Fuji from here. The foot bath is small, but the view more than makes up for it. The fee is 200 yen and you can use this without going into the onsen itself. http://www.enospa.jp/dining/ashiyu.html
Doppo no Yu in Yugawara
An ashiyu facility worth a day trip in itself is the Doppo no Yu foot bath park in Yugawara, a small onsen town located between Tokyo and Hakone. There are nine different ashiyu located in a park here. They are all different. Some are very hot, some have bubbles, some tickle a little. This is a fun place to come with friends, talk, and relax. Yugawara is an onsen town with many old shops. We walked the 3 km from the station and tried some Japanese sweets on the way, but there is also a bus. Entrance fee is 300 yen.
When you are traveling by train and walking you are already traveling quite slowly. Ashiyu will slow you down further and in the best way. Make time for it in your travel schedule.