How to take Onsen (hot spring) in Japan

Hello! Today, we will introduce some tips and manners for you to enjoy onsen! Please read this article and enjoy onsen like the locals do!

At first, you will pay the bathing fee by the ticket machine or at the reception (“Bandai” in Japanese).

Let’s start your onsen experience by saying “Konnichiwa (Hello)” with a lovely smile!

In Japan, the bath rooms are usually separated, for women and men. If you prefer to enjoy Onsen together with your group, take a private bath. To learn more about private onsen, visit this article.

Mostly, a blue-ish curtain is hung in front of the men’s bath room, and a red-ish one for the women’s. The letter in the left picture, ”男,” stands for men, and “女,” for women.

After you pass under the curtains, you will see a space for taking off your clothes. There should be baskets, shelves or rockers, so use either of them and put your clothes and other belongings in. Even though it’s not a rule, folding your clothes to make it look better is the more polite way.

After you take everything off, it’s time to take a bath! If you feel embarrassed by being naked, men can roll the towel on your waist and women hide the front with your modesty towel. However, please note that you have to take the towel off when you soak in the bath.

We understand that you will be excited to face hot springs in front of you. But don’t forget to pour hot water on yourself! That is for cleaning the body and getting your body used to the hot water.

To keep everyone’s onsen clean, it’s better to wash your body before soaking into the onsen, especially if it is your first onsen on that day.

While almost all hotels and Ryokan (Japanese style inn) provides toiletries, such as shampoo and soap, many other communal Onsen don’t provide anything, so please bring your own sets. You may be able to buy them for about 100 yen at some places.

Everyone would like to enjoy a hot spring and relax there like you do. With a small amount of consideration, cleaning the stool and the bowl after use is a tip to keep everyone happy.

Ready for taking a hot spring, after wash your body!

After you get all prepared, ”Yes, I’m ready! Finally, I will take a hot spring!”, you may feel like jumping into the Onsen, but let’s do it calmly, so everyone is able to relax peacefully.

Please keep your hair and towel out from the water. It is a rule to keep the onsen clean. You may see people putting their towel on their head. …Is there any special meaning?

People do that to keep the towel out of the water, but also to avoid getting dizzy by putting a cool wet towel on the head!

Here are the last two tips after fully enjoying onsen and relaxing.

The first one is “Agariyu” which is a warm water or pure hot spring. To rinse your body by using Agariyu after you come out of the bath. If you don’t want to rinse the hot spring minerals, you can skip this step too.

The second one is drying your body before getting into the changing room. You don’t want to change your clothes on the wet floor, do you? Let’s enjoy the onsen comfortably until the end.

”Thoughtful consideration to others” is the most important

These manners we introduced today are general manners. If we introduce every single rule, there is really no end though. The most important thing is to be considerate. Keeping a positive attitude is the best way to enjoy onsen happily with other people.

We hope you can relax both physically and mentally, and fully enjoy onsen in Beppu.

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