Onsens, or hot spring baths, are definitely one of the reasons many tourists choose Japan as their getaway destination. Onsens are usually public and separated by gender, but there are private baths available if you're feeling a little shy. Here are some general do's and dont's at the onsen, though some rules may differ depending on where you go.
1. Get naked, that's the first step. Sorry, swimsuits aren't allowed.
2. Wash your hair and body before you enter the bath, to keep the water clean. Ladies, please tie up your hair.
3. Be careful, typical water temperatures are about 40+ degrees Celsius (100+ degrees Fahrenheit)! So, feet first and then slowly ease yourself into the water.
4. Relax after your soak. Drink a beer, take a nap!
1. Don't show your tattoo, if possible please fully cover it up.
2. Don't wash after you soak. Many Japanese believe the minerals in the water are good for the body, so you shouldn't wash to get the full effect.
Most of all, enjoy!
Oedo Onsen Monogatari is perfect for any onsen newbie, they have several grand indoor baths, outdoor baths and saunas. (They offer spa services for an extra fee.) Plus there is food, souvenirs, a rest area and English speaking staff available. They even have a separate bath available for your dog!
Open Daily 11am-9am (last entry 7am)
2-57 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
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Telecom Center Station, Yurikamome Line (JR Shinbashi Station)
Admission: Includes a yukata (cotton robe) and a towel.
Adults ¥1,980 (Mon-Fri), ¥2,180 (Sat, Sun & hols), junior high school students and over ¥1,480 (Mon-Fri), ¥1,680 (Sat, Sun & hols), elementary school students and under ¥900; late-night surcharge (after 2am) ¥1,700; early morning (5-7am) ¥1,380
If you are looking for the best onsens, check out our selection!