The Onsens

 

There are hundreds of onsens all over Japan. Nozawa Onsen has long been famous for its thermal springs. Many Japanese still visit primarily to gain the health benifits of the onsens. The onsen bathing experience is a must after a day on the slopes. There is thirteen public onsens all with apparently different health benefits. Aching backs and limbs are amazingly refreshed and revitalised after a dip. A lot of the hotels also have their own onsen. There is strict code of onsen etiquette but it's really easy to follow so don't worry too much, just enjoy the amazing benefits.

The onsens are part of everyday life for the local people. They fund and maintain the onsens themselves, so it is important to follow a few simple rules, relax  and the locals will be happy to see you. Follow a local you will be ok. 

 

  • Use a small 'modesty' towel when moving around. 

  • Mens and womens are separated. 

  • Shoes and clothing (all of it) must be taken off.

  • Before getting into the 'bath' you must was yourself with soap and shampoo.

  • Rinse off all suds off before entering! 

  • Relax. You may find it hot at first.  If no one is about you can add some cold water or ask if it’s ok if you can mix the hot water with the cold while washing too.

  • Use the small towel to wipe yourself fairly dry before stepping on the wood.

  • No drinking or eating                                                

  • OnsenJapan has some great detailed info on this wonderful tradition

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