4 Basic Manners & 5 Ways to Enjoy Hot Springs in Japan

      2016/12/18

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Have you tried hot springs in Japan?

If not, you must try while you stay in Japan!

 

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As you might have heard, there are countless hot springs in Japan.

Depends on area, colour of hot water might vary.

It might be clear, green, blue, red, black, or white like milk.

I cannot introduce them all so today I’m going to discuss Onsen (温泉 hot springs) manners and how to enjoy hot springs in Japan.

 

4 Basic Manners at Hot Springs

Do you feel embarrassed to go hot spring naked? Check those 3 locations → You can wear Bathing suit in these 3 Hot Springs in Tokyo Area

 

 

I am not sure about hot springs in other countries but in North America, people usually wear swimsuit and enjoy hot springs.

 

In Japan, however, you cannot wear swimsuit.

Don’t worry! Women and men have different sections so that you won’t see opposite sex in hot springs.

 

Wash your Body

I know you feel jumping into the hot spring as soon as you see it, but you must to do something before entering into hot spring tub.

Hot springs in Japan are more like public bath thus you must wash your body first.

After washing, it is time to enjoy the natural bath!

 

 Tie up Your Hair

Also tie up hair if you have long hair. This prevents hair from getting wet and helps to keep hot water clean.

Staff cleans facilities everyday but this is one of the manners customers should do to respect other customers and staff.

 

Don’t Put Towel Into Hot Springs

Another thing is not to put towel inside the hot spring.

You use this towel to wash your body before entering into hot water.

Just like tying hair up, having no towel inside hot water helps keeping nice and clean hot spring.

 

Keep an Eye on Children

If you have small children with you, be careful and keep an eye on them.

People pay and go enjoy hot springs because they want to relax.

If children were running around or screaming, they cannot relax.

Moreover, children might slip or drown.

(I have almost drowned in hot tub at home when I was a kid. So it’s dangerous!)

 

 

5 Ways to Fully Enjoy Hot Springs

 

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Go Alone

If you love hot springs and want to enjoy quiet atmosphere, go alone!

You can go wherever and whenever you want.

You might stay at hot spring hotel (旅館 ryokan) or just enjoy as day trip.

 

Go with Friends

I love going to hot springs with friends!

My favorite plan is to stay in ryokan (hot spring hotel) and enjoy food and hot spring.

The reason I love this plan is because I don’t have to go home and we can take our time.

I don’t have to check train time schedule.

I can chat as much as I want and go sleep whenever I want.

 

Go with Family

This would be an option if you have family that like hot springs.

My grandma loved hot springs, so we used to go different places.

We enjoyed food and hot springs.

If you live on your own, this is a good opportunity to communicate with your family members.

 

Go with a Partner

If you are dating someone, it is pleasant to bring him or her.

Some hot springs have private space where you can reserve time.

You might have to pay or it’s free of charge.

 

Check before going and make a reservation if necessary.

Private one is not only for couples but also for family and small group of people.

If the hot spring is outside, you don’t want to leave there!

 

Go in Winter

You can enjoy hot springs anytime of the year but I do recommend winter.

You might feel very tired to stay in hot water in summer.

It’s nice to see flowers such as cherry blossoms in spring.

It’s also enjoyable to see autumn leaves in fall.

 

What can you see in winter?

No leaves, no flowers and it’s cold…

Well, you can enjoy snow!

 

One of my best hot spring experiences was taking open-air hot spring while it was snowing!

It was cold but body was warm.

When you feel too hot, you can stay outside the hot water and cool down your body.

 

Summary

It might be embarrassing and uncomfortable to go into hot springs without any swimsuit, but it is worth it.

If you stay in Japan, it is one of the enjoyable attractions you cannot miss.

 

If you prefer to wear swimsuit, check this → 3 hot spring near Tokyo where You can Go with Swimsuits on

 

 

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 - Hot Spring