The correct way to bathe in an onsen (hot spring)

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Famous onsen are located in various locations throughout Tokyo. You will experience even more beneficial effects from an onsen if you learn the correct way of bathing in one!

Even in the city, in recent years many onsen (hot springs) are appearing that can be enjoyed in a casual fashion. But why do Japanese people love onsen so much?

A folk remedy called “toji ” exists in Japan that involves attempting to cure illness, such as rheumatism and sensitivity to cold, through the effects of onsen. Multiple people do not share one bathtub in Europe and the United States, but in Japan people get in a bathtub with many people, which can be considered one form of communication. Both onsen and public baths demonstrate the value of “hadaka no tsukiai,” which literally means “naked relations” but refers to having an open relationship and sharing one’s true thoughts. 

Based on the manners required of a place for communal use, we recommend getting in an onsen and taking the chance to enjoy a friendly conversation with the people who are sharing the same waters .

* Onsen are places for communal usage. If you remember your manners, you will surely be seen as an attractive, sophisticated person!

Edited by the Japan Spa Association

How to bathe in an onsen (hot spring)