GANBANYOKU, which means ‘stone bath’ is very vogue with health-conscious Japanese.
THIS detoxifying treatment involves lying on heated stones in the provided pyjamas for up to an hour.
These heated stones raise your internal body temperature and radiate about 40˚c of sweat-inducing heat.
It’s recommended that you lie for 20 minutes at a time on your back and then your front. The sweat that this produces is said to be one that is different to that produced during exercise – it’s a cleaner sweat, and
apparently if you lick it it won’t taste salty.
Lying on a hard hot rock for up to an hour requires mental as well as physical stamina.
It’s a process that is very sensory devoid, giving you plenty of time to stop, relax and think. There is a Ganbanyoku at the Alpen Hotel at the top of Hirafu Zaka. And after visiting the Ganbanyoku make sure you drink plenty of water.