Things you need to know about Japanese onsen

About Japanese Onsen

Japanese Onsen

Japanese Onsen, a traditional hot spring bath, has been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries. It promotes relaxation, relieves stress, and provides various health benefits.

Onsen can be found across Japan and is often situated in scenic areas surrounded by nature, like mountains or forests, or in urban hotels or resorts.

The minerals found in onsen water are believed to have numerous health benefits, such as improving circulation, relieving stress, and promoting relaxation. Some onsens even have medicinal properties that can help with skin conditions or joint pain.

Onsen comes in different types, including outdoor (rotenburo), indoor (uchiyu), and mixed-gender (konyoku). Each type has unique features, making it worrying different kinds to discover your favorite.

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, visiting an onsen is a must-do experience that offers exceptional insight into Japanese culture and relaxation practices.

Basic rules to follow

  1. Cleanliness
    Before entering the Onsen, cleaning your body thoroughly in the washing area is essential. This includes using soap and shampoo provided by Onsen. It’s also important to rinse off all soap and shampoo before entering the bath.
  2. No Clothes
    Wearing clothing or a swimsuit when entering the Onsen is considered impolite. Complete nudity is required. Nevertheless, it is acceptable to bring a small towel to cover one’s private parts.
  3. No Splashing
    You should avoid splashing water, as it can disturb other bathers.
  4. No Drinking
    It’s not permitted to drink alcohol or bring any drinks into the Onsen. This is to ensure everyone’s safety and maintain the bath’s cleanliness.
  5. No Photos
    Taking photos or using a camera is not allowed in the Onsen. This is to protect other bathers’ privacy and maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
  6. No Talking Loudly
    This place does not allow loud talking, yelling, or causing a disturbance. Therefore, maintaining a peaceful and quiet atmosphere for everyone’s relaxation is essential.
  7. No washing inside the bathtub
    There is a space provided for washing and a bathtub and shower. But we never wash our clothes inside the bathtub.
  8. Tattoos
    Because tattoos are commonly linked to the yakuza or Japanese mafia in Japan, numerous onsens have a strict policy against tattoos. Therefore, it is crucial to confirm with Onsen beforehand if they allow entry for individuals with tattoos.
A few things to keep in mind

Things should bring

  1. Towel
    Most onsens provide a small towel for washing your body, but you may want to bring a more oversized towel to dry off after you leave the bath.
  2. Toiletries
    While most onsens provide soap and shampoo, you may prefer to bring your toiletries if you have sensitive skin or prefer a particular brand.
  3. Change of Clothes
    It is recommended to bring a fresh set of clothes. Numerous onsens provide changing rooms or lockers for visitors to store their belongings.
  4. Swimsuit
    Some onsens have a co-ed or family bath, which requires you to wear a swimsuit. If you plan to visit this type of onsen, bring a swimsuit.
  5. Waterproof Phone Case
    If you want to listen to music while on the onsen, consider bringing a waterproof phone case to protect your phone from water damage.
  6. Snacks and Drinks
    A lot of onsens provide vending machines or cafes that offer snacks and drinks for purchase. However, bringing your own snacks may be a good idea if you have specific dietary requirements or preferences.
  7. Cash
    Some may only accept cash, so bringing some yen with you is a good idea.

We’ve got a video of a hotel with a really popular onsen in Japan. You should totally check it out.

by Wandering