In this article, we would like to introduce the right manners in a Japanese Hot Spring, Public Bath and Bath!
Japan’s Bathing Tradition
There are various difference on how Japanese people take a bath from other countries. When foreign tourists visit Japan, they experience culture shock when they have to use public baths instead of private showers. In that case, what is really the tradition and characteristics of a Japanese bath? Let’s find out!
In Japan, when people want to relieve their stress, they wash their body by filling the bathtub with hot water and soak there to relax instead of just taking a shower. Because of this, most Japanese homes have bathtubs in their shower room.
Before soaking in the bathtub, they make sure to shower first before entering so the next person will have also enjoy and clean bathtub.
Also, in some foreign countries, the bathtub and WC is in the same room, however in Japan, they are mostly separated because a room for a bathtub is a must in their culture.
About the Hot Springs and Public Baths
When you hear the word “Japanese Bath,” a Hot Spring or Public Bath would be the first thing to come to mind.
Japan has many volcanoes and so Hot Springs are available throughout the region. Around the places where Hot Springs are available are hotels and so Spa Town is becoming a popular travel plan. Most call it an Onsen Trip (Hot Spring Trip).
On the other hand, Public Baths are available almost everywhere in the neighborhood. In the early days, there were no baths in houses and it was normal for people to take a bath in a public bath with other people. Even today, many Japanese people still use Public Baths because they find it relaxing to take a bath in a spacious place and they also enjoy bathing with family or friends.
Super Public Bath
Recently, amusement facilities such as Super Public Bath, is increasing today.
There are several types of bathtubs available in Super Public Baths. There are Jet Baths where the water pressure eases stiff shoulders and lower back. Moreover, there are saunas and outdoor baths available.
Depending on the location, facilities such as Body Scrub Treatments , Shiatsu Massage and Bedrock Bath are available and for either young people and elderlies to enjoy!
Because Japan’s tradition with bathing is so different from other countries, there are rules that may be hard to believe and difficult to follow. From now, we would like to point out the right manners and caution points.
People who (might possibly) cannot soak in the Hot Spring
- People with tattoos（※Depending on the facility）
- People with chronic disease
- People with fever
- People who drank a lot of alcohol
- People who are bleeding・on their period
Necessary Things in the Hot Spring・Public Bath
- Hair Tie
- Towel (Large・Small)
- Soap or Shampoo（※for some Public Bath Facilities）
- Do not run：The floor is extremely slippery due to the water. Moreover, it may cause inconvenience to other customers.
- Wash you body before entering the bathtub：Many people use the Hot Spring or Public Bath. To make sure that everyone will have a great time in a clean tub, make sure to keep yourself clean.
- Pour some water to your body before entering the tub after using the sauna：Make sure to wash away the sweat you had in the sauna before entering the tub.
- Lightly wash the chairs or other stuff you used：This is also to make sure that everyone has a good time.
- No Alcohol：This is a common sense（※there are some Hot Springs where drinking is possible）
- Do not bring towel inside the bathtub：The bathtub is used by everyone. This rule must be followed to keep the bathtubs clean.
- Wipe your body before going to the dressing room：This is to make sure that no own will slip and to keep the dressing rooms clean.
Japan’s bathing tradition is a tradition nowhere similar to any other countries and Japan has many of these bathing facilities they are proud of. Hot Springs and Public Baths are not only used by you but by everyone. Make sure to pay attention around you and bear in mind to keep an environment enjoyable to everyone.