Though not well known among foreign visitors, Gero (Gifu Prefecture) has long been a place of recuperation and relaxation for the Japanese, thanks to its hot springs - including open air baths and free foot spas that can be found dotted around the town.
Set in a striking valley, criss-crossed by two rivers, the town is perfect for strolling around, sampling local goods, and as a base for hikes further afield. Combine a soak with a visit to the nearby Gassho Village in the hills above the town, or go hiking amid the lush nature of Gandate Kyo. Gero is ideal for a two or three-day stay.
One of the 100 hidden towns in Japan chosen for this publication.