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What is Onsen? Onsen Tips and manners.

nihon-no-ashitaba
An onsen is a hot natural spring where you can relax both body and mind. As Japan is situated in a volcanic area, thousands of onsens are scattered across the country in both urban and rural settings. Onsen hot spring water, depending on its mineral composition, can help people recover from certain surgeries and control a number of conditions.

Onsens come in many shapes and sizes; there could be outdoor and indoor onsens, they could be communal or private, colourless or coloured, mixed gender or single sex. The bathing facilities are often made from Japanesecypress or marble.

Japanese onsen or 'hot springs' are a part of Japanese culture that many end up falling in love with. Public baths in nature may seem like a strange concept to some, but once you've tried it you'll become a believer, trust me. Refreshing and relaxing, onsen are the perfect way to relax in the Japanese countryside and enjoy the amazing scenery of Japan, as well as fresh food.
 

How to Use Onsen Baths

how_to
1. Enter the correct side of the door (male / female).
2. Take off ALL clothing.
3. Bring the provided small hand towel into the onsen.
4. At the shower stall, cleanse yourself thoroughly sitting down.
5. Soak into the onsen bath and enjoy.

 

Onsen Manners

sanga_goshobo_shugetsu
1. Swimming clothes/underwear is not allowed.
2. Do not stand while taking a shower.
3. Rinse off all soap/shampoo before dipping into onsen bath.
4. No swimming or jumping, move slowly in the bath.
5. Do not let towel or hair touch the water (tie and put up long hair).
6. Do not wrap towel around the body and if needed, wring towel dry outside the bath.
7. Keep a low voice when talking.
8. Do not let water drip inside the changing room.
9. Use only one bath & hand towel each.

 

Onsen Tips

onsen_tips
1. Soak in the onsen for 5-10mins at a time, then get out and relax.
2. If you feel light-headed, get out of the bath slowly and steady yourself.
3. Do not use onsen after heavy alcohol intake.
4. Move around the bath area slowly to avoid slipping.
5. Drink water (from a fountain or a bottle, not the bath!) in between moving baths.

If you are planning to go to Japan, you can find Ryokan here!

Tony
Author: Tony

Backpacker by heart, one of Tony's greatest achievements was traveling across the Japanese archipelago during the summer of 2014 by foot, train and ship. Since then he decided to move to Japan and is now enjoying the Japanese way of life. He still finds fascinating bits of everyday culture and history on a daily basis and loves to drive around with his small but beloved car to discover new untold storys of this mesmerizing country.

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