Detailed explanation of basic etiquette at hot springs! Introducing the charm and points of how to enjoy it

When enjoying hot springs in Japan, it is important to follow good manners. Hot spring facilities are used by many people, so it is important to understand etiquette.

This article provides a detailed explanation of etiquette when entering a hot spring in Japan. We will also introduce how to enjoy and charm Japanese hot springs, so please read until the end. Please understand the etiquette and enjoy the hot springs.

■What is the appeal of hot springs? Spectacular seasonal views and relaxing effects

Hot springs are one of Japan’s representative cultures, and are very popular with foreigners as well. Many Japanese people also plan their trips to take a hot spring bath, and it is one of the standard ways to enjoy it with family, friends, and couples.
Relax in the open hot springs and enjoy delicious Japanese cuisine at the facility. It is also attractive to be able to experience the Japanese seasons, such as cherry blossoms in spring and autumn leaves in autumn.


■Introducing etiquette to follow at hot springs!


Since hot springs are shared spaces, there are some minimum etiquette rules that must be followed. The following five manners will be introduced this time.

● Manners in the changing room
● Manners before bathing
● Manners at the washing area
● Manners when entering a hot spring
● Manners when coming out of a hot spring

There are many details, but by understanding them in advance, you can enjoy the hot springs without getting confused. Let’s look at them one by one.


Manners in the changing room

The use of mobile phones is prohibited in the changing room, so please refrain from looking at your mobile phone screen or answering the phone. Just looking at your cell phone can make people around you feel uncomfortable and distrustful.

Some hot spring facilities do not have lockers with keys, only shelves. Since you will be putting your clothes in the changing basket, cover them with a large bath towel so that they are not visible to those around you. If your locker has a key, keep it on your wrist so you don’t lose it after locking the locker. If you lose your key, you may have to pay for it, so be careful not to lose it.

Only one locker or changing basket will be used per person even when it is empty. When it gets crowded, be considerate and use it so that others around you can use it.


Manners before bathing

If you have children with you, it’s a good idea to let them go to the bathroom before bathing to prevent them from accidentally defecating in the bathtub. You cannot enter the hot springs wearing a swimsuit or with a bath towel wrapped around you. Just bring a small towel to dry yourself with and don’t wear any clothes.

Before entering the bathtub, it is good manners to cleanse your body. Be sure to splash hot water or wash your body. Kakeyu is the act of pouring hot water on your body to remove dirt before bathing in a hot spring. If you soil the bathtub, it will cause trouble to other people, so be sure to clean it before taking a bath.


Manners at the washing area

The hot spring washing areas are very close to each other on both sides. When washing your body, be careful not to splash hot water or foam around you. It can be very unpleasant to have the bubbles and water splashed by other people washing their bodies all over you.

There may be bubbles or loose hair left at your feet that may not be completely washed away. Rinse the buckets and chairs with hot water after use to keep them clean for the next person. Let’s flush everything out so that the next person can use it comfortably.

In many hot spring facilities, it is prohibited to reserve a space for washing, as it is a nuisance to other people. When it’s busy, line up and wait your turn. After you’re done, make sure to turn off the shower and make sure it’s not left running.


Manners when entering a hot spring

When soaking in the bathtub, tie long hair with a rubber band or shower cap to prevent it from getting into the hot water. Do not put any towels you bring into the hot water. The inside of the bathtub must be kept clean, so avoid squeezing the towel or rubbing your body to remove dirt. Place a towel on the edge of the bathtub or place it on your head so you don’t have to worry about getting into the hot water.

Many people enjoy relaxing in hot springs alone. When visiting with family or friends, be careful not to speak loudly or make noise. Children may end up swimming in the spacious bathtub. It is very important to be considerate of those around you and not to play in the bathtub.


Manners when leaving a hot spring

When getting out of the bathtub, do so slowly to avoid splashing water on those around you. Before returning to the changing room, wring out the towel you brought and wipe your wet body. The floor of the hot spring facility is very slippery. Wipe down to your feet to prevent falling.

The changing room is used by many people. If you don’t wipe yourself thoroughly, the floor of the changing room will get wet and cause trouble for other people, so be careful.

Hair dryers and amenities are available in the changing room. Depending on the time of day, it may be crowded, so be sure to check your surroundings and follow your order. It is good manners to return it to its original position after use for the next person. In order to have a pleasant experience, please clean any areas that you have soiled and keep them clean.


■Points to note when using the sauna

When using the sauna, it is important to wipe your wet body with a towel before entering the sauna to avoid getting the mat wet. Also, there are many people who use the room alone, so please try to be quiet.

When using a cold bath, be sure to wash off all sweat with a shower before entering. Using the sauna after drinking alcohol is prohibited as it can be life threatening. Please come in without drinking alcohol, stay hydrated, and have as much fun as you can comfortably.


■How to enjoy hot springs

There are many ways to enjoy Japanese hot springs. There are three main ways to enjoy it:

● Feel the seasons in the open-air bath
● Try reserving a private bath.
● Enjoy the difference between morning and night

We will introduce the characteristics of each one one by one. By understanding this, you will be able to enjoy hot springs more and have a more fulfilling sightseeing experience.


Feel the seasons in the open-air bath

Most hot spring facilities have an open-air bath. An open-air bath is a part of Japanese hot spring culture, and refers to a bathhouse installed outdoors. Because it is outdoors, you can enjoy the scenery and the changing seasons while bathing, making it very popular.

You can enjoy the ocean view from the open-air bath on the sea side, and feel the lush nature if you go on the mountain side. Bathing while looking at the cherry blossoms in the spring, the autumn leaves in the fall, and the snowy scenery in the winter is a special experience.


Try reserving a private bath

If your hot spring facility has a private bath, it might be a good idea to try it out. Reservations are required for private baths, so you can enjoy the hot springs in a private space with friends and family. Normal hot springs are separated by gender, but with a private bath, the whole family can bathe together and enjoy themselves.

It is very popular among tourists as it allows you to spend luxurious time with friends and family in a private space. However, there may be additional charges, so please check with the hot spring facility in advance. It is important to strictly adhere to the reserved time and take care not to inconvenience the next user.


Enjoy the difference between morning and night

At many hot spring facilities, the men’s and women’s baths are switched in the morning and night, so you can enjoy different atmospheres even within the same facility. If you go to the hot springs early in the morning or late at night, there will be fewer other users, so you can have a quiet time. Taking a hot spring while watching the sunrise or starry sky is a special experience.

You can feel the fresh air in the hot springs in the morning, and enjoy the romantic view at night. You can have a different experience depending on the time of day you bathe in the hot springs, so it might be a good idea to try bathing in the morning and evening.


■Let’s observe Japanese hot spring etiquette and enjoy sightseeing!

In order to enjoy Japanese hot springs, it is very important to follow good manners. Hot spring facilities are shared spaces with other users, so it is important to keep them clean.

Before bathing, clean your body and tie up your long hair to prevent it from getting into the bathtub. Bathing while wearing a bath towel or swimsuit is prohibited. Always take a bath without wearing anything.

Hot springs are one of Japan’s representative cultures. The view from the open-air bath allows you to feel the four seasons of Japan. When you come to Japan for sightseeing, be sure to experience a hot spring.


Q:What is the temperature of the hot springs?
A: Many hot springs have temperatures around 41 degrees.

Q: I have a tattoo. Is it okay?
A: Many facilities do not allow you to bathe if you have a tattoo.
Please inquire with the facility.