Bath and Onsen Culture

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Bath culture is one of the most major life habits for Japanese. This might be proved by the fact that almost most of houses have bath tabs in Japan.

For Japanese, taking a bath is not just washing your body, but also giving you a time to relax and enjoy the time of think “nothing”.

I take a shower everyday, but I do not take a bath everyday. However, whenever I feel really tired and exhausted, or want to get warm from the deep inside my body, I take a bath, especially, in winter season.  Because Japan is the island with many mountains and hot springs around, culture of going to hot springs called “onsen” culture and a bath culture is rooted for many Japnese all around Japan.

For those who are not used to take a bath in their countries, I give some tips and advises for learning the bath culture and onsen culture in Japan.

Most houses have bath tabs.

In many countries around the world, there are houses that do not have bath tabs, but those houses or hotel rooms are not favored by Japanese. Some people never be able to finish bath without having a bath in daily life. Taking a bath is the daily life like going to a toilet.

Varieties of bath salts and bath powders

In drug stores and relatively bigger supermarkets, they sell many kinds of bath salts and bath powders. We, as a consumer usually buy them and enjoy those bath salts and bath powders when taking a bath  .

Why don’t you get some bath salts or bath powders for your souvenirs to home?

We usually do not put and soak the towel in bath tab.

You take a bath with naked body in the bath tab. This also applies to the hot springs. Even there are many strangers and others at “Onsen”, you have to take off your towel and take a bath. You never seak your towel in the bath or onsen.

Of course, once you get out of onsen, you can put your towel for hiding your lower half of body if you are male, or hiding your upper half of your body if you are female. I understand if your are a foreigner, you never had a chance to be naked in front of friends or others and feel a bit embarrassed.

Onsen in winter is the best

Especially, Japanese like to take a bath in onsen in winter. After taking a bath in onsen, your body get warm and keep warm for a while. In cold winter, many Japanese go to an onsen trip to country side.

There are many onsen places around. Some of them are operated by hotels or Japanese-style hotels, and also some others are for just one day trip visitors, so you can enjoy the walk in onsen without staying at the hotel at night.

Drinking a milk after bath

is the mainstream in bath culture in Japan. This habit is inherited by our ancestors from long time ago. After you get out from a bath or onsen, the cold milk for your warm body never lets you down.

There are usually about some different kinds of milks sold at the onsen, and my favorite is the coffee-flabored milk.

I strongly recommend you buy one and enjoy the Japanese bath culture.

If you have any comment or question, please contact me!