There are many wonderful hot springs in Japan.  Gero, Beppu, Kinosaki hot spring, etc.  In addition, there are many public baths in the city.  From the Edo period, Japanese people have a culture of sharing a bath like this. Therefore, when you come to Japan, I’d like you to go to public bath or hot springs, not taking shower in your room of the hotel.  Let me introduce some manners and Tips to enter hot springs.



Basic Manners

There are two main basic manners. First, wash your body before bathing. This is to keep the bathtub clean. Two, do not put a towel on the bathtub. I don’t know why you shouldn’t wear towels in the bathtub, but don’t. If you follow these two, you would be recognized as a good-mannered person. If you don’t do this, elderly people nearby will get angry with you.


Interesting Tips

Share some useful information about unique Japanese bathing culture.

-Let’s drink coffee milk after bathing. (If you are intolerant to lactose, you can use orange juice)

-After bathing, relax while reading manga.

-If you have a tattoo, do your best to hide it.

First, in Japan there is a culture of drinking coffee milk after enjoying a hot spring. I don’t know why, but everyone drinks coffee milk in various comics and dramas. I don’t know why.

Second, most large public baths have relaxing spaces like relaxation rooms. There are some manga there. The comics after bathing are the best. You can take a nap as it is. We recommend that you study Japanese before you go to the relaxation room.

Third, many hot springs and public baths may not allow people with tattoos to enter. Perhaps in Japan, tattoos have a strong image of a mafia and intimidate other customers. The brown Compress are sold at drug stores, then you can hide the tattoo.


Totonou is a relaxing bath method that I have been doing a little bit recently in Japan. You can do it in a hot spring with a sauna and a cold water bath.  You can try this bathing method to reach the ultimate relaxing state. It may be close to the feeling that you can relax when you meditate.

Then, I will explain the specific method. It’s easy.

First, enter the sauna for 8 to 10 minutes. Then, soak in cold water for about 1 minute. Then, if you have an open-air bath, relax outside. Repeat this 3 times.  A great feeling will be waiting for the third relaxing time.

This is a Japanese entertainer who practiced Totonou. I fell asleep in the hot spring. It must have been good.

In this way, Japanese hot springs and public baths have a unique culture. Please experience it when you come to Japan. You must enjoy them.

Author: Atsushi Yabushita

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