[From a Japanese]The Onsen wants you to follow these rules

Do you like Onsen? Japan has nearly 3000 Onsen resorts

 『温泉 = Onsen』 is like a Hot spring + Spa. Does your country introduced Japan to country of volcano? Japan has many volcanos. Onsen are magma builds up deep underground and heated water erupts to the surface.

 Japan have many rain(snow also) because many water into the ground in rainy season, it’s mean water was warm by magma and like infinitely Onsen splush out. For example, my hometown Nikko-city has these Onsen area.

・Lake Chūzenji
・Oku-nikko Yumoto

 I have an image of hot spring as 100% natural, warm water. Japanese Onsen is very defferent in temperature and quality each other place, because Japanese law allows to call “Onsen” if that’s clear either of the following.

・hot water over “25℃
・Contains more than the specified amount of a specific substance
  → Lithium ion, Hydrogen ion, Sulfur etc… all 19 types

 By the way,『銭湯 = Sentoh』 if simply warm water. Since the temperature varies from region to region, hot springs are often heated with a boiler or cooled with water, but If you concern it, please ask to you will stay hotel in advance.

 Japan has nearly 3000 Onsen area. This time, I will introduce the etiquette of to enjoying Japanese Onsen.

日本温泉協会(Japan Onsen Association)
 Website is “Click here!
 About the Onsen’s definition is “Click here!

Japanese Inns and Hot Springs

How about Onsen?

 Generally, this is how to you can bathing Japanese Onsen.

Stay in a lodging buildings
  Public bath, or attached to the room
  Included in the cost
Take a private Onsen at you stay lodging
  You can have the Onsen monopoly
  Add to charges may apply
Using a Onsen facility
  Cheapest and easiest way to enjoy Onsen
  You can only take a bath depending on lodging
   → You should inquiry facility

 Below are some things you should prepare before heading to the Onsen.

Japanese money
  Facilities in Japan only cash can be used meybe
  It is necessary to wipe the body
   → You can also buy at the Onsen
shampoo or etc
  You can brought in or use things from Onsen too

 You should embarrassing since you enter naked to Japanese Onsen. If you so, I think you better use to 『足湯(footbath)』. Onsen area has free footbath spot maybe.

 Most Onsen facilities have something like this.

  You have to take off shoes and pay batthing fee
  There is also a rest area, and in some cases a dining room too
Dressing room
  There are mirror, sink, hair dryer, and simply amenities
  You should put your clothes in the coin locker
   ※ pay to 100 yen, but many coin lockers are refundable
  It has a bathroom, an open-air bath, and depending the facility,
a sauna and cold water bath
  Shampoos are also available
in the body washroom

when in Onsen, do as the Japanese do

 Here, I will introduce etiquettes about preparation, before bathing, in bathing, and after bathing. You don’t have to follow everything strictly, but it’s a quite important things because. I hope that you will be able to enjoy the Onsen even more.

Preparation, arrival at Onsen

 Do you ready to enter the Onsen? Please be careful of these

Please do not enter into the Onsen if you are not feeling well

 Bathing is a stressor for your body. If you are not feeling good, condition is bad, and you have heart or brain broblems, I reccomend that you don’t overdo it. The same is true if you get sick while taking a bath.

 Onsen is too sweat more than you expected. You had better drink a glass of water before bathing.

Do you want to bathing a 100% Onsen?

 If you want to take a 100% Onsen, please look for the words 『源泉100%かけ流し』.

 According to Japanese law, water must not be added to the Onsen, and warm to water if this sign is displayed. It may be confusing, but 『温泉かけ流し』 may include water.

please refrain to Drinking alcohol and during menstruation

 It’s be same in your country. if you are drinking, Onsen’s staff will make you leave. Of course, it’s ban to drink alcohol into the Onsen. However, beer after bathing is exceptional. There are many private Onsen in higher hotel, so please enjoy bathing alcohol at your own risk.

 If you are menstruation and really want to enter Onsen, please oay close attention at your own risk.

Let’s take off shoes

 In Asia, take off their shoes indoors. There is a shoe box entrance, so let’s put your shoes in there. There is also a coin locker for shoes to prevent theft(100 yen required and refund after).

I’m afraid but please no tattoos

 The tattoos reminds the Japanese of the Yakuza(kind of Mafia). Recently, understanding of foreign cultures has deepened , but very sorry, even if we know that you are not involved with the mafia, we do not enter you if you have tattoo.

 In some cases, you can ask the reception staff to order a sticker to hide the tattoo. Before making a reservation for Onsen inn, be sure to check each site.

Don’t take a picture

 Are you going to take a picture of someone naked? If you really want to take pictures, get permission from the manager. Well, it would be good if there were no people… I don’t recommend it.

How to pay

 Usually, Onsen buy tickets for bathing from a vending machine in entrance. If it’s none, buy it from a reception staff. The cost is about 500 ~ 800 yen maybe. And you can also purchase towels and simply amenities.

Please do not mistake the entrance to bathroom

 Entrance of the Onsen is hunged a curtain called 『のれん(noren)』. The noren is blue for men, red for women. There is a dressing room behind it. When you get lost, look for a curtain that written 『ゆ(湯)』 it’s mean is warm water, or 『』 it’s mean is symbol of Onsen.

Get naked in the dressing room

 The dressing room is which one into basket or coin locker(pay 100 yen. Refundable type meybe). Please put in all clothing and accessories there.

 Naked in Onsen is maybe difficult task for you. But ahh… This is Japanese culture. Cheer up!

 By the way, there are Onsen where you can enter in a bathing suit, so if you really don’t like it, please use that one.

Glasses are sensitive to Onsen minerals.

 If you wear glasses, you probably know that glasses are weakness to hot springs. Hot springs contain a variety of minerals, so the quality of the hot springs can cause major damage to your glasses.

 For example, the sulfur springs in Oku-Nikko Onsen will discolor metals, and the acid springs in Nasu will melt metals and will be break your glasses. Plastic lenses are sensitive to heat, so saunas are really forbid. You should also avoid soaking it in hot water.

 If you have an Amazon account in Japan (https://www.amazon.co.jp/), these hot spring glasses will help you.

[藤田光学] The glasses that can be used in the bath (no power)

When you are in the Onsen’s bathroom

 This is the etiquette when you enter the Onsen. Let’s enjoy and keep a promise.

The floor in the Onsen’s bathroom is slippery

 Floor is slippery cause Onsen’s component. It’s same to for mats and processing to non-slip floors. Please care yourself to don’t slip. Of course, running is too bad.

Washing body before enter bathtub

 There is space for washing your body. There is also shampoo, but you can use brought yourself it. sit down a chair and at least, wash your lntimate area and hairy areas.

 You have to wash away the foam. That is very beneficial for you because Onsen’s mineral will soak into your body more easily… Maybe.

Don’t sink your hair

 Even if you washed hair with shampoo, tie up your hair with a hairband etc when you into bathtub. You wouldn’t like it if the person near you was soaking who’s hair in water, right? Onsen can transmit infection little a bit, so it is not recommended to sinking your head in Onsen.

Don’t sink your towel

 Onsen have special minerals, ingredients, and effective things. Please be careful not to sink your towel into Onsen because they may affect the quality of the Onsen.

 If you forget towel, you can buy it in Onsen

Obviously don’t dive

 It’s same reason as above. I don’t want to imagine mouth bacteria being released into Onsen…

 Typically, There is a 『半身浴(half-body bathing)』 where you can soak to your navel, and 『全身浴(full-body bathing)』 where you can soak to your shoulders.

Please calmly in Onsen

 Onsen are NOT water parks or bathhouses. Swimming, running, loudness is too bad. Furthermore, these days silent bathing is recommended due to COVID-19. Well, it doesn’t matter if you speaking lightly with friends.

The temperature varies depending on the Onsen

 Generally Onsen temperature is 38℃ ~ 42℃. Completely natural Onsen are susceptible to source temperature and may not be bathing for long time. Please rest without overdoing it.

About Sauna etiquette

 Japanese saunas feel good as Scandinavia. You should place towels between chair and your bottom in the sauna. After leaving the sauna, take a shower and then a cold bath. In Japan, the pleasant feeling you get from a cold bath after a sauna is called 『整う(Totonou)

After the taking a bath

 Don’t let your guard down after you enjoy the Onsen. It will introduce etiquette after bathing.

Please do not shower

 After bathing, if you wash your body in the shower, the ingredients attached to your skin will be washed away.

 It’s too waste! If you possible, I recommend that you don’t take a shower before leaving there.

Let’s go out to the dressing room after wiping the body to some extent

 At least, don’t go to the dressing room completely soaked. You should wiping your body to some extent then you can into a cool dressing room, once your body is dry, you can dressed and out of there.

Milk is delicious!!

 It has long been a Japanese custom to drink milk after bathing. Merchant have prepared vending machines of drink including fruits milk, coffee milk and more. It’s more delicious than you expect, so let’s try it.

 Onsentamago are delicious too, and there is almost always a resting place in the Onsen.

Japanese people are actually not that picky about manners

 Certainly, we are a people who quite care about etiquettes. But we are not only that but also we are a little nonchalant people.

 We are understand that you aren’t used to Japan. We will silently excuse your mistakes. Than that, we value to have you enjoy Japanese Onsen, I think so.

 Please, enjoy Japanese Onsen.

We are looking forward that you visit in Japan

 YouTube Channel, Osmosis:posted video

 Japanese Onsen is cleaned every day(otherwise often). This is lay down by Japan’s 『温泉法(Onsen law)』, since there have been cases in the past where facilities that failed to do so have been punished.

 I think, “Isn’t too much to worry about Onsen etiquette? when I read articles introducing Onsen in English. Japanese people are not very strict about rules, and even if there who are, they are just too stick with the rules.

 You are foreigner, unfamiliar with Japanese style hot spring. We understand that. I think no Japanese person would say you, “You are breaking manners!” …Please enjoy Japanese Onsen.

Last thing I want to say to you

 I like Onsen and go to them often. I’ve written an article about the kind of quality of Onsen, but it’s in Japanese, so if you’re interested, please use translation sftware to view. If you want it in English, please comment on the article or my X(twitter) account『 @INU_MONO_GATARI 』.

 The Onsen in Nikko city are called 『アルカリ性単純温泉( Simple alkaline Onsen )』 and are said to heal wounds and make your skin beautiful. This is no means a spiritual story. I want you to experience it with your own body.

日本温泉協会(Japan Onsen Association)
 About Onsen’s quality is “Click here!
This is a link to my blog
 About Spring quality is “Click here!“(Japanese)

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