In today's column from luxury magazine, Monocle, we learn that Japan is looking at geothermal energy, as a way to power the nation, but businesses in the hot spring industry fear it would deplete their sources.

Monocolumn is Monocle's daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

Few countries prize a long soak in a hot spring like the Japanese. Yet for months after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, no amount of publicity could persuade the usual crowd of Tokyoites and overseas tourists to the popular springs in the three hardest-hit prefectures – Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

The hot spring tourism industry there was devastated, with some inns and hotels completely washed away and the rest going belly-up, with guests abruptly cancelling reservations still months away. “Hardly anyone was going to hot springs for months,” says the Japan Spa Association’s Hirokazu Nunoyama.

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