hotspring ettiquette in Japan

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hotspring ettiquette in Japan Reviews

reikunboy reikunboy
48 reviews
Hotspring etiquette in Japan Jan 21, 2009

Enter the changing room (one for women and one for men)

Remove your clothes and put them in the basket or locker provided

Take the wash towel with you (one will be provided for you)

Cover your private parts and enter the bathing area closing any door behind you

wash your body using the showers or taps before entering the hot spring bath

relax in the bath for a short while and be careful not to get too hot

if there is both an indoor and an outdoor bath, you can enjoy both baths

after your last soak in the bath, you do not need to rinse your body


Onsen are for soaking your body, not washing your body. Before you enter the water, it is important to wash your body and rinse all the soap from your body. There will be a shower and/or tap in the onsen where you can wash yourself before entering the water.

Unlike hot springs in some countries, bathers do not wear any clothes in a Japanese onsen. Most onsen have both male and female baths, together with separate changing rooms. The only things you should bring with you is a small towel.

An onsen is for relaxing, not swimming. Just sit back and soak inthe the mineral water It is a wonderful way to relax and unwind, and you will feel very refreshed at the end of your bath. Avoid rough horseplay and making loud noises as the atmosphere at an onsen is suppose to be for relaxation and quiet conversation.

Before stepping into the water, it is a good idea to test the temperature with your foot so you have some idea of the water temperature. Some onsen can be very hot.

If you wear glasses, do not take them with you to an outdoor hot spring. The difference in air temperature between sitting in the hot spring and the outside air may cause your glasses to crack once you leave the hot spring.

If you have tatoos please cover them as tatoos are associated with Japanese maffia, some onsens won't even allow people with tatoos to enter the onsen
Kurama Onsen Sorry no photos were …
okyumoto hotel with its own onsen …
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
YantiSoeparno says:
Thanks for sharing Chris ;-) This is very useful. I know now that I cannot relax at an onsen :-( cause it's not allowed to wear anything ;-)
Posted on: Mar 03, 2009
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