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Japanese Bathhouse Etiquette

“Kakeyu” A Ritual Before Entering the Bathtub

Make sure to thoroughly rinse your body off before entering the bathtub. Pour hot water over your body starting from your toes and continuing on to your upper body using either a bucket or shower to avoid a sudden increase in blood pressure.

This preparation called “Kakeyu” is considered akin to a ritual in Japan.

If you wash your body using soap, be sure to completely rinse it all off before entering the bath.

Smart Use of Your Towel

You are only allowed to have a small towel with you in the bathing area, but do not soak your towel in the bathtub. During summer, rinse your towel with cold water and place it on your head while in the tub, and likewise in winter, do the same but with hot water.

Also, as a general rule, tattoos, cameras, swimsuits and swimming in the bath are not allowed - be sure to confirm these before proceeding.

After-bath Manners

Wipe your body with your towel before heading back to your locker to protect yourself from catching a cold and to keep the floor non-slippery and safe for others.

Moreover, in case of “Kakenagashi-Onsen” (100 percent natural hot springs), you should leave the bath without rinsing your body because it is said that the minerals from the Onsen are good for your body. If you have sensitive skin, you may of course rinse yourself off with fresh water.


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