Having only recently experienced the magic of onsens with an improp-due late night jaunt with some friends from Painting, when we booked our tickets a while back I wasn't sure exactly what they did. This is what they do:
Because it gets cold in the winter, super cold, the natural hot spring baths have been a luxury for many a cold japanese. In the 60s some time, the trusted story goes, that a local onsen owner left food out for the monkeys because they were looking a little thin. Edging closer to the small town for the food left out, the monkeys also found the magic of onsens. (Which I completely get. Heaven is an onsen.)
Now, where are your amazing photos I love to drool at/make me jealous, I hear you ask? Battery died. Oops. Did take a few snaps on the old iphone though so I will get on loading them.