Onsen Etiquiette : You Probably Should Know

When you come to Japan, you might want to go to a hot spring. If you unintentionally break the rules of etiquette and cause discomfort to those around you, or cause unexpected trouble, you may leave a stain on the memories of your trip. Here are some of the important rules in Japanese onsen!


Never use a phone!

In Japan, people take onsen in their bare skin, so electronic devices with cameras must not be used. The staff will warn you. You could be suspected of not doing anything, so be careful!

Do kake-yu before bathing

Before bathing, you pour hot water on yourself. This is called “Kake-yu.” If there is no kake-yu space, just pour shower on your body. This has two meanings: one is to let your body get used to the hot water, and the other is to wash off the sweat and dirt from your body. The same goes for after a sauna. It is etiquette to wash off the sweat before soaking in the onsen.

Tie your hair up

It is not good for hygiene to have your hair soaked in hot water. If you have long hair, tie it up before entering the onsen.

Do not soak your towel in the onsen

Take a towel with you when you enter the onsen, but do not soak your towel in the onsen, as it is not good for hygiene. Leave it on the edge of the onsen or somewhere so that it does not touch the onsen water.

Wipe yourself with a towel

When you get out of the onsen room, wipe the water off your body with a towel. If you go back to the changing room while dripping water, the floor will be wet and dangerous, and other people will feel uncomfortable.

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