Did you know an “Onsen” is a traditional Japanese bath with natural hot springs, while a “Sento” is a bath with artificial hot springs?

Normally, changing bathrooms/locker rooms are separated by sex, with those for women indicated in red and those for men in blue.

Take note of what you must do to enjoy your “Japanese bath”:

  • Leave your shoes before entering the dressing room.
  • Put your clothes in a basket and leave it in a locker closed with a coin.
  • Before entering the water, take a shower, which has stools and mirrors. Try not to wet other customers. This process is called “kakeyu“.
  • Afterwards, clean the stool so another guest can use it.
  • Approach the bathing area, called “utaseyu”, and enter slowly, since the water is very hot.
  • Once in the bathing area, avoid making noise in order to respect other people, collect your hair if you have it long and remember not to wash your body, as you have done it previously.
  • Before returning to the dressing room, dry yourself a little bit. This way, you will avoid turning the floor slippery.

Do not forget that you should bathe naked. Relax and enjoy!

Each onsen is different. Some will have a single bathtub, others with an indoor and outdoor bathtub; some can be with an electric water bathtub or an herbal bathtub.

In the surroundings of Tokyo there are several onsen. Possibly, the most popular in the country is the one in Hakone. The area has different spas and offers beautiful views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji.

Do not miss the illustrated guide of the Tokyo Tourist Office on the Japanese etiquette in the Onsen!

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