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Useful guides to enjoy onsen (hot springs)

2017.01.13

Japanese are loving onsen (hot springs) from ancient times. As onsen was described in Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and Nihon-shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan), both written in the latter part of the seventh century, it has a long history as one of the Japanese culture. People used to go onsen for Toji (hot-spring cure), but it became typical travel destinations nowadays. You can't miss onsen while traveling around Japan. These useful tips for onsen bathing help you to maximize your comfort and benefit of onsen.

Useful guides to enjoy onsen (hot springs)

Step1: Wash your body and pour hot water over your whole body before soak into a bathtub.

Step1: Wash your body and pour hot water over your whole body before soak into a bathtub.
Make sure to keep your body clean by washing in a washing area. Tie your hair if long enough to be soaked into a bathtub. Do not soak immediately but do “kakeyu”, to pour hot water over yourself from hands and feet to head. Kakeyu has an aim to accustom your body to the temperature of hot water.

Step2: Soak your body calmly into a bathtub, and do not put a towel into a bathtub.

It is bothering for others if you soak with a splash into a tub, and also it becomes a load for your body because of rapid change of the temperature. In addition, do not soak a towel into a bathtub. However, it may have a benefit to prevent dizziness if you put a cold towel on your head. A towel on a head always goes with a description of a hot spring, and it has such a purpose, too.

Step3: Stimulate circulation with full-body bathing. Do not add cold water without permission even if it's hot.

Step3: Stimulate circulation with full-body bathing. Do not add cold water without permission even if it's hot.
When soak into a bathtub from half bottom of your body to the whole, open your arms and legs to stimulate your blood circulation. You can expect the improvement of health by the quality of springs as well. Hot springs contain various ingredients and some people may expect the efficacy. Do not water down hot springs even when it's hot because it may dilute the quality of springs. Furthermore, some local people get used to the high temperature and love the hotness at public baths. So you must not adjust the water temperature without permission.

Step4: Bring back equipment to where to belong and dry yourself in a bath before back to a dressing room.

Get out from a bathtub when you sweat lightly. Generally do not wash away over your body in order to keep the quality of springs, but it depends on the springs. Make sure whether you should wash away or not before bathing. Bring back equipment such as washtubs and stools to places where they belong after wash them lightly. It is one of manners as well to keep a dressing room dry by drying yourself completely in a bath.

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