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Bathing rules

Bathing etiquette

Many foreign tourists are looking forward to enjoy the ONSEN(hot spring) in Japan. Due to geological factors, there are so many hot springs in Japan. There are more than 500 hot springs nationwide and all 47 prefectures have ONSEN.

Not like the hot spring in Europe, hot springs in Japan are also healthy people, places for Japanese to rest. Then, due to a habit of bathing, Japanese are much used to take a bath rather than Europeans who intend to prefer shower.

If you are bathing at home, there is your rule or family rule but public hot spring bath in Japan is different. There are certain rules you have to follow. At first, you have to be get naked at the dressing area/locker room. Usually there is no locker at the dressing room, just a basket to leave your clothes. Therefore you have to remember your basket and not to take valuables with you. Sometimes there are small lockers(safety boxes) where leave your valuables and your room key

When you are staying at a Ryokan type inn, please take the bath towel and the smaller towel from your room. Then, leave the bath towel inside the basket and take the smaller towel with you to the bathing room.

Inside the bathing room, there are two sections. 1st one is the place where you can wash your body. Soap, shampoo and conditioner are located there and please use them to clean your body and hairs.

There is also plastic or wooden small chair where you can sit and clean your body. 2nd section is the large bath tub where you can bathe and relax. However, please wash your body before entering the bath tub. Then, never put your towel into the bath water.

I usually wash my body first. Ryokan are usually equipped with razor, either you can take it at the dressing room or you have to take it from your room. Therefore I usually shave there too. Then, I take a bath. Some ryokan have outdoor bath tub too. Just watch out that the floor is slippery.

After taking a bath, wipe yourself with the smaller tower before entering the dressing room and use the bath towel to wipe perfectly. After taking a bath, there is a traditional custom to drink a cold milk or cold coffee flavored milk. Therefore please take several 100 yen coins with you!

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