Hot springs, or onsens, are a quintessential part of Japanese culture. They are not only a relaxing way to unwind but also have numerous health benefits. However, before jumping into the hot springs, it’s important to know the rules and customs that go along with it. Here are some essential things you need to know before visiting a Japanese hot spring.
Japanese hot springs are communal, and it’s essential to maintain proper hygiene before getting in. Before entering the hot spring, you should thoroughly wash your body and hair in the showers provided. This is to ensure that the water in the hot spring remains clean and free from any dirt or contaminants.
When entering the hot spring, you must be completely naked. Swimsuits, underwear, or any other clothing are not allowed in the hot springs. However, you can bring a small towel with you to cover your private parts while walking around the hot spring area.
Tattoos are generally frowned upon in Japanese society and may not be allowed in some hot springs. This is because tattoos were traditionally associated with organized crime in Japan. If you have tattoos, it’s best to check with the hot spring beforehand to avoid any issues.
Japanese hot springs are a place for relaxation and tranquility, so it’s important to be quiet and respectful of others. Loud conversations or any disruptive behavior are not allowed, and you should always speak in a quiet voice while in the hot springs.
If you have long hair, it’s important to tie it up before entering the hot spring. This is to avoid any loose hairs getting into the water and to keep the water clean.
When entering or leaving the hot spring, it’s customary to bow to others as a sign of respect. It’s also important to follow the rules and regulations of the hot spring, which are usually posted in multiple languages.
Japanese hot springs are a unique and relaxing way to experience Japanese culture. However, it’s important to be aware of the rules and customs that go along with them. By following these guidelines, you can fully enjoy the experience of soaking in a Japanese hot spring and immerse yourself in the culture and tradition of Japan.