An Inside Look At A Traditional Japanese Bath

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I don’t think I’ve told you guys much about onsens.  Onsens are traditional Japanese baths. Basically, Japanese people wash their bodies via a shower first, then soak in a bath/hot pool – that’s how they cleanse themselves. However, there’s a catch. Not only do they do that communally with their family members (all nakey at the same time) they do it with strangers too. Which, is of course, terrifying at first especially when you come from a culture (Persian) where you’re taught to hide everything, always but after the initial soak, completely natural and complete relaxation. Ain’t nothing to it. These days, I gladly get naked.

Some other bits and pieces (tehehe bits):

*Usually there are separate onsens for male and female

*Tattoos are strictly prohibited – which is real shitty and rude if you ask me because clearly, Anisa sensei is not yakuza sensei and this is the 21st century and we should be accepting of everyone and open-minded. Alas, tis like the whale in the school lunch, tis “tradition”. So, one has to find ways around said problem, like going to private onsens owned by hipster young men (thanks Jun). But in all seriousness, I’m lucky because my tattoo is small, if your ink is larger than a fist.. you should probs stop reading this.

*Some onsens have cold baths so you can go from hot to cold to hot to cold and back again. I hope this doesn’t give you a medical condition because I am kinda-sorta-pretty much addicted.

16 comments

  1. In Kyoto they have onsen and sentos. The sentos are not naturally heated and the price is controlled by the government (¥430) – and they allow everyone in with or without tattoos. Every neighborhood has a little sento. I’ve been to some where all the old guys are covered in tattoos. Its kind of freaky!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I experienced an onsen at the awkward age of 15. Not wanting to miss out on the traditional bath, me and my brother waited until late at night so as to make use of the facilities undisturbed.

    After having the place to ourselves for a few minutes and relaxing in our strange environment, we were suddenly greeted by about 7 or 8 drunk Japanese men splashing their way into the bath to join us.

    Definitely a surreal moment which will stick in my memory for a long time!

    http://teaandthat.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a question about Japanese onsens!

    In anime shows, they ALWAYS enter the bath with a bath towel. Always.

    But then one of my friends who went to Japan said you are NOT supposed to wear a towel into the bath.

    I was like, “Look they do it in EVERY single anime show with an onsen scene. Gotta have some truth in it, yeah?”

    And he was like, “Anime isn’t real.”

    But there has to be some truth in it, right? I mean, sure, there are anime shows about wizards and demons and gods and so on. Really fantastical stuff. But they have to copy parts of the show from reality. Like they have typical Japanese schools and typical family restaurants and sakura trees even in anime shows with supernatural themes.

    My point is, if they are going to depict everyday Japanese life in those shows, there has to be a certain degree of accuracy.

    So who’s right? You have to wear a bath towel in a Japanese onsen, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the ladies onsen we don’t take towels into the bath.. we may take them and have them nearby for when we come out but not into the actual bath.. but I’mma ask my male Japanese friend for you because he mentioned coming to onsen with me once and I was all like whoa and he was all like, no no I’d have my towel.. so yeah maybe the men do that!

      Liked by 1 person

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