Tips for Visiting Japanese Spas

Onsen, Japanese spas
Photo by Kaede KBYS on Unsplash

One of the things Japan is most known for is their natural hot spring bath spas, called onsen, a well-loved pastime enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike and something you absolutely don’t want to miss when you visit Japan. Here are some tips for how to get the most out of onsen.

It’s Quite Revealing

While nudity around other people is a very rare occurrence in countries like America, it’s actually totally normal in other places, such as Japanese onsen. After all, it is a spa, right? Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it quickly and notice that nobody is looking at or judging other people.

Shower First

Think of onsen less like a bath and more like a sauna or a steam room, meaning you’re not using them to get clean. In fact, you need to be clean before you even get in. So don’t forget to shower before entering your onsen!

No Loose Hair or Tattoos

Some things aren’t usually allowed in onsen. One is long hair floating in the water, so if your hair is long, put it up and out of the way. Another is tattoos, which is unfortunate for anybody who has visible ones, but it’s better to know before you go than after you arrive.