I love tea but never visited a place where it grew until my Japanese friend told me about Ureshino. I expected to see factories and machines and outlet stores. But hey, this is Japan, not America. Ureshino is a quiet town known not only for its green tea but also its "onsen", a natural hot-water spa rich in sodium bicarbonate. Mix the healing properties of green tea anti-oxidants and the onsen waters (just not in the same pot!) and you'll never want to leave this little corner of paradise. During the Edo period, these springs were favorite stops by soldiers because of the healing powers of the sodium-rich water. Today, the people of Ureshino are particularly proud of their tofu,which is boiled in this special water.