1
How To Take An Onsen
How To Take An Onsen
DATE: 2013/09/23::
2
How to do Japanese Onsen (adventures inside a traditional Japanese public bath)
How to do Japanese Onsen (adventures inside a traditional Japanese public bath)
DATE: 2015/03/22::
3
Things you CANNOT do at Japanese Onsen (Rules for the public bath in Japan)
Things you CANNOT do at Japanese Onsen (Rules for the public bath in Japan)
DATE: 2015/04/09::
4
Japanese HOT SPRING | Onsen Experience! 登別の旅館に行ってみました!
Japanese HOT SPRING | Onsen Experience! 登別の旅館に行ってみました!
DATE: 2014/07/18::
5
Inside a Traditional Japanese Outdoor Onsen (JAPAN)
Inside a Traditional Japanese Outdoor Onsen (JAPAN)
DATE: 2014/06/20::
6
Getting Naked in Japan: A Subarashii Guide to Onsen
Getting Naked in Japan: A Subarashii Guide to Onsen
DATE: 2014/07/15::
7
半熟温度(温泉)玉子♪ Soft boiled egg♪(Onsen Tamago)♪ 半熟的溫泉蛋♪
半熟温度(温泉)玉子♪ Soft boiled egg♪(Onsen Tamago)♪ 半熟的溫泉蛋♪
DATE: 2015/06/26::
8
Negiya Ryokan  Trip of ARIMA ONSEN
Negiya Ryokan Trip of ARIMA ONSEN
DATE: 2015/03/09::
9
[Select Onsen Japan] (Charm of Jinpyokaku)/ Best hot spring hotel in Japan
[Select Onsen Japan] (Charm of Jinpyokaku)/ Best hot spring hotel in Japan
DATE: 2014/04/28::
10
Kuroko No Basket2 episode 12~Onsen best moments~!!!
Kuroko No Basket2 episode 12~Onsen best moments~!!!
DATE: 2013/12/22::
11
Japan Trip - DAY 02 (Kyoto) [Onsen Experience]
Japan Trip - DAY 02 (Kyoto) [Onsen Experience]
DATE: 2014/11/17::
12
JAPAN VLOG | April 22, 2014 | OEDO ONSEN MONOGATARI HOT SPRINGS
JAPAN VLOG | April 22, 2014 | OEDO ONSEN MONOGATARI HOT SPRINGS
DATE: 2014/08/27::
13
Gala Onsen Dance Fin de Curso 2015
Gala Onsen Dance Fin de Curso 2015
DATE: 2015/06/29::
14
[Begin Japanology Special Mini] Japanese Onsen
[Begin Japanology Special Mini] Japanese Onsen
DATE: 2015/06/17::
15
Como Nos Enamoras JAPON ONSEN 温泉 [By JAPANISTIC]
Como Nos Enamoras JAPON ONSEN 温泉 [By JAPANISTIC]
DATE: 2014/07/30::
16
[Select Onsen Japan] (Hospitality of Lampnoyado)/ Best hot spring hotel in Japan
[Select Onsen Japan] (Hospitality of Lampnoyado)/ Best hot spring hotel in Japan
DATE: 2014/04/23::
17
How to make Onsen Tamago / Hot spring egg おんせんたまご
How to make Onsen Tamago / Hot spring egg おんせんたまご
DATE: 2012/09/23::
18
Japanese ONSEN in Hokkaido - 函館の温泉・岩盤浴
Japanese ONSEN in Hokkaido - 函館の温泉・岩盤浴
DATE: 2015/02/17::
19
[Hello-Nippon.net]Japanese Onsen(Hot Springs)
[Hello-Nippon.net]Japanese Onsen(Hot Springs)
DATE: 2010/05/14::
20
Best Onsen in Hokkaido Japan - Daiichi Takimotokan
Best Onsen in Hokkaido Japan - Daiichi Takimotokan
DATE: 2013/01/03::
21
Onsen in JAPAN 温泉: TATTOOS at Onsens in JAPAN #3: Japan Travel Guide
Onsen in JAPAN 温泉: TATTOOS at Onsens in JAPAN #3: Japan Travel Guide
DATE: 2014/10/27::
22
How To Make Onsen Tamago (Recipe) 温泉卵の作り方 (レシピ)
How To Make Onsen Tamago (Recipe) 温泉卵の作り方 (レシピ)
DATE: 2015/01/22::
23
Japanese RYOKAN ONSEN - 月の静香 温泉旅館 松本
Japanese RYOKAN ONSEN - 月の静香 温泉旅館 松本
DATE: 2014/10/16::
24
Desnuda en JAPON!! O_O (Onsen Japonés)
Desnuda en JAPON!! O_O (Onsen Japonés)
DATE: 2014/11/18::
25
Arima-onsen
Arima-onsen
DATE: 2014/02/24::
26
Hakone - Ryokan and Onsen
Hakone - Ryokan and Onsen
DATE: 2012/08/16::
27
Oedo Onsen Monogatari - Tokyo Odaiba
Oedo Onsen Monogatari - Tokyo Odaiba
DATE: 2013/08/12::
28
El onsen privado 貸し切り温泉 en Wakayama (Turismo por Japón)
El onsen privado 貸し切り温泉 en Wakayama (Turismo por Japón)
DATE: 2011/08/02::
29
Onsen Tamago - Japanese Hot Spring Egg
Onsen Tamago - Japanese Hot Spring Egg
DATE: 2012/03/20::
30
[字幕付き] Japanese Onsen! 温泉が苦手な外国人のため!
[字幕付き] Japanese Onsen! 温泉が苦手な外国人のため!
DATE: 2011/12/09::
31
Onsen di GiappoTour - guardate che meraviglia!
Onsen di GiappoTour - guardate che meraviglia!
DATE: 2014/11/02::
32
Onsen in JAPAN: Manners & Etiquette at Onsens in Japan #4 : Japan Travel Guide
Onsen in JAPAN: Manners & Etiquette at Onsens in Japan #4 : Japan Travel Guide
DATE: 2014/10/30::
33
カピバラ温泉 - Capybara Onsen
カピバラ温泉 - Capybara Onsen
DATE: 2013/03/29::
34
Gaki no Tsukai No Laughing Hot Spring Inn Eng Sub Onsen Part 1 of 3 (2003)
Gaki no Tsukai No Laughing Hot Spring Inn Eng Sub Onsen Part 1 of 3 (2003)
DATE: 2014/11/01::
35
Viajando en JAPON [Onsen, Manga, Calle Mexico] [By JAPANISTIC]
Viajando en JAPON [Onsen, Manga, Calle Mexico] [By JAPANISTIC]
DATE: 2013/04/26::
36
Review: ONSEN Pure A-Peel skin renewal facial peel
Review: ONSEN Pure A-Peel skin renewal facial peel
DATE: 2011/09/19::
37
JapanX : EP05 - 2/4 | TOKYO แหล่งท่องเที่ยว Oedo Onsen Monogatari
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DATE: 2015/03/12::
38
カピバラ温泉 Capybaras
カピバラ温泉 Capybaras' Onsen.
DATE: 2015/02/13::
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城崎温泉・兵庫県 ・♨  Kinosaki Onsen  JAPAN  日本
城崎温泉・兵庫県 ・♨ Kinosaki Onsen JAPAN 日本
DATE: 2013/09/01::
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Japanese Hot spring Onsen  日本の温泉の楽しみ方
Japanese Hot spring Onsen 日本の温泉の楽しみ方
DATE: 2014/11/15::
41
Japan Travel - Shikoku Mountain Onsen
Japan Travel - Shikoku Mountain Onsen
DATE: 2014/06/25::
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Perfect Onsen Tamago! easy Japanese cooking recipe プルンプルン温泉玉子の作り方
Perfect Onsen Tamago! easy Japanese cooking recipe プルンプルン温泉玉子の作り方
DATE: 2012/08/09::
43
[Dragon Nest KR] Onsen!!!
[Dragon Nest KR] Onsen!!!
DATE: 2014/09/06::
44
曼谷有個日本溫泉 Bangkok
曼谷有個日本溫泉 Bangkok's First Authentic Japanese Onsen -Yunomori Onsen&Spa
DATE: 2013/02/17::
45
Gaki no Tsukai No Laughing Hot Spring Inn Onsen English Sub Part 2 of 3 (2003)
Gaki no Tsukai No Laughing Hot Spring Inn Onsen English Sub Part 2 of 3 (2003)
DATE: 2014/11/01::
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Shibu Onsen near Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano Japan
Shibu Onsen near Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano Japan
DATE: 2013/11/21::
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NOZAWA ONSEN & TOKYO 2015 - POWDER SHRED
NOZAWA ONSEN & TOKYO 2015 - POWDER SHRED
DATE: 2015/03/14::
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ONSEN in JAPAN 温泉: Do I need to try ONSEN? Why??? #1:Japan Travel Guide:
ONSEN in JAPAN 温泉: Do I need to try ONSEN? Why??? #1:Japan Travel Guide:
DATE: 2014/10/09::
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佐賀県温泉「いっしょに入ろ?」篇"SAGA BEAUTY ONSEN MOVIE"
佐賀県温泉「いっしょに入ろ?」篇"SAGA BEAUTY ONSEN MOVIE"
DATE: 2015/01/07::
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登別温泉 Noboribetsu Onsen
登別温泉 Noboribetsu Onsen
DATE: 2011/01/24::
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Outdoor pool, Naruko, Miyagi
Guidebook to Hakone from 1811
A video showcasing the stool and shower used for cleaning off, an inside pool and an outside pool.

An onsen (温泉?) is a term for hot springs in the Japanese language, though the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth. Onsen were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism.

Onsen come in many types and shapes, including outdoor (露天風呂 or 野天風呂 roten-buro or noten-buro?) and indoor baths. Baths may be either public run by a municipality or private (内湯 uchiyu?) often run as part of a hotel, ryokan or bed and breakfast (民宿 minshuku?).

Onsen are a central feature of Japanese tourism often found out in the countryside but there are a number of popular establishments still found within major cities. They are a major tourist attraction drawing Japanese couples, families or company groups who want to get away from the hectic life of the city to relax. Japanese often talk of the virtues of "naked communion" (裸の付き合い hadaka no tsukiai?)[1] for breaking down barriers and getting to know people in the relaxed homey atmosphere of a ryokan with an attached onsen. Japanese television channels often feature special programs about local onsens.[citation needed]

The presence of an onsen is often indicated on signs and maps by the symbol ♨ or the kanji, (yu, meaning "hot water"). Sometimes the simpler hiragana character ゆ (yu) is used, to be understandable to younger children.[citation needed]

Roten-buro outdoor onsen at Nakanoshima in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama
Indoor onsen at Ōfuka Onsen

Traditionally, onsen were located outdoors, although a large number of inns have now built indoor bathing facilities as well. Onsen by definition use naturally hot water from geothermally heated springs. Onsen should be differentiated from sentō, indoor public bath houses where the baths are filled with heated tap water.[citation needed]

The legal definition of an onsen includes that its water must contain at least one of 19 designated chemical elements, including such minerals as iron, sulfur, and metabolic acid and be 25 °C or warmer before being reheated. Stratifications exist for waters of different temperatures. Major onsen resort hotels often feature a wide variety of themed spa baths and artificial waterfalls in the bathing area utaseyu (打たせ湯?).

Onsen water is believed to have healing powers derived from its mineral content. A particular onsen may feature several different baths, each with water with a different mineral composition. The outdoor bath tubs are most often made from Japanese cypress, marble or granite, while indoor tubs may be made with tile, acrylic glass or stainless steel. Different onsen also boast about their different waters or mineral compositions, plus what healing properties these may contain. Other services like massages may be offered.[citation needed]

People often travel to onsen with work colleagues, friends, couples or their families.[citation needed]

Mixed bathing[edit]

Traditionally, men and women bathed together at the onsen and sentō but gender separation has been enforced since the opening of Japan to the West during the Meiji Restoration. Mixed bathing (混浴 konyoku?) persists at some special onsen in rural areas of Japan,[2] which usually also provide the option of separate "women-only" baths or different hours for the two sexes. Men usually cover their genitals with a small towel while bathing, while women usually wrap their bodies in full size towels. Children of either sex may be seen in both the men's and the women's baths. In some prefectures of Japan, including Tokyo, where nude mixed bathing is banned, people are obligated to wear swimsuits or yugi (湯着 yugi?), which are specialized clothing for baths.

Etiquette[edit]

Baskets

Ensuring cleanliness[edit]

At an onsen, as at a sentō, all guests are expected to wash their bodies and rinse themselves thoroughly before entering the hot water. Bathing stations are equipped with stools, faucets, wooden buckets, and toiletries such as soap and shampoo; nearly all onsen also provide removable shower heads for bathing convenience. Entering the onsen while still dirty or with traces of soap on the body is socially unacceptable.[3]

Swimsuits[edit]

Bathers are not normally allowed to wear swimsuits in the baths. However, some modern onsen with more of a waterpark atmosphere require their guests to wear a swimming suit in their mixed baths.[citation needed]

Towels[edit]

Onsen guests generally bring a small towel with them to use as a wash cloth. The towel can also provide a modicum of modesty when walking between the washing area and the baths. Some onsen allow one to wear the towel into the baths, while others have posted signs prohibiting this, saying that it makes it harder to clean the bath. It is sometimes against the rules to immerse or dip towels in the onsen bath water, since this can be considered unclean. In this latter case, people normally set their towels off to the side of the water when enjoying the baths, or place their folded towels on top of their heads.[citation needed]

Noise[edit]

Onsen vary from quiet to noisy, some play piped music and often feature gushing fountains. Bathers will engage in conversation in this relaxed situation. There are usually prohibitions against rowdiness in the washing and bathing areas. A small amount of excess energy and splashing around is usually tolerated from children, however.[citation needed]

Shower cubicles

Tattoos[edit]

Many onsen ban bathers with tattoos, which in Japan, as in the West prior to the radical changes that have taken place in society, are recognized as a badge of criminality—Yakuza traditionally have elaborate tattoos. Despite this background reason, the rule is often enforced strictly against all, including foreigners, women, and even when tattoos are small and "peaceful".[4][5][6]

Therapy[edit]

The volcanic nature of Japan provides plenty of springs. When the onsen's water contains distinctive minerals or chemicals, the onsen establishments display what type of onsen it is.[citation needed]

Some examples of types of onsen include:

  • Sulphur onsen (硫黄泉 iō-sen?)
  • Sodium chloride onsen (ナトリウム泉 natoriumu-sen?)
  • Hydrogen carbonate onsen (炭酸泉 tansan-sen?)
  • Iron onsen (鉄泉 tetsu-sen?)

In Japan, it is said onsen have various medical effects.[7] Japanese people believe that a good soak in proper onsen heals aches, pains and diseases, and visit onsen to treat the illnesses, such as arthralgia, chronic skin diseases, diabetes, constipation, menstrual disorders and so on.[7]

These medical benefits have given onsen a central role in balneotherapy which is called "Onsen Therapy" (温泉療法 onsen-ryōhō?). Onsen Therapy is a comprehensive bathing treatment conducted to maintain health, normalize dysfunctions and prevent illness.[7]

Risks[edit]

Although millions of Japanese bathe in onsen every year with few noticeable side effects, there are still contraindications to onsen usage, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.[8]

Legionella bacteria have been found sporadically in onsen with poor sanitation.[9][10] Revelations of poor sanitary practices at some onsen have led to improved regulation by hot spring communities to maintain their reputation.[11]

There have been reports of infectious disease found in hot bodies of water worldwide, such as:

  • Various Naegleria species.[12] While studies have found the presence of Naegleria in hot spring waters, the worrisome Naegleria fowleri amoeba has not been identified.[12] Nevertheless, less than 5 cases have been seen historically in Japan, although not conclusively linked to onsen exposure.[13]

Many onsen have posted notices for visitors, reminding anyone with open cuts, sores, or lesions to not bathe. Additionally, in recent years onsen are increasingly adding chlorine to their waters to prevent infection, although many onsen purists seek natural, unchlorinated onsen that instead does not recycle its water, cleaning baths daily.[11] These precautions as well as proper onsen usage (i.e. not placing the head underwater, washing thoroughly before entering the bath) greatly reduces any overall risk to bathers.

Selected onsen[edit]

Kinosaki Hot Spring, Hyōgo, postcard circa 1910
Old Tsuru-no-yu Bathhouse in Nyūtō Onsen area, Akita
Winter bathing at Tsuru-no-yu roten-buro in Nyūtō, Akita
Kurokawa Onsen roten-buro in Kyushu
Japanese Macaques enjoying a roten-buro open-air onsen at Jigokudani Monkey Park
Yumura-onsen's hot-spring resort and forests in Shin'onsen, Hyōgo
Dōgo Onsen hot springs (main building) in Matsuyama, Ehime
湯原温泉|ja]]), Okayama Prefecture, one of the largest mixed baths at the foot of Yubara dam

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ This term should be carefully differentiated from the word skinship (スキンシップ sukinshippu?) which refers to the benefits of physical contact, for instance, on babies by their mothers.
  2. ^ "Japan's Konyoku (mixed gender) Onsen Best 100". Konyoku.org. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ In very isolated onsen, where there is no possibility to use soap before entering in the bath, onsen users are expected to at least rinse their body with the water of the bath before entering it.
  4. ^ Covering the offending tattoo with sticking plaster can sometimes solve the problem. "Onsen Warnings and Hassles"
  5. ^ Tattoo in Japan (2009-12-22). "Tattoo in Japan". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  6. ^ "Sunnypages - Tokyo reviews by English speakers". Sunnypages.jp. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  7. ^ a b c Getting into hot water for health. The Japan Times. May 25, 2003.
  8. ^ "Hot Spring Treatment|Hot Spring Encyclopedia|ONSEN|BEPPU CITY|". City.beppu.oita.jp. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  9. ^ H. Miyamoto; S. Jitsurong; R. Shiota; K. Maruta; S. Yoshida; E. Yabuuchi (1997). "Molecular determination of infection source of a sporadic Legionella pneumonia case associated with a hot spring bath". Microbiol Immunol. 41 (3): 197–202. doi:10.1111/j.1348-0421.1997.tb01190.x. PMID 9130230. 
  10. ^ Eiko Yabuuchi; Kunio Agata, Kansenshogaku zasshi (Kansenshogaku zasshi) (2004). "An outbreak of legionellosis in a new facility of hot spring Bath in Hiuga City". Kansenshogaku zasshi 78 (2): 90–98. ISSN 0387-5911. PMID 15103899. 
  11. ^ a b "Onsen: know what you're getting into". The Japan Times. 
  12. ^ a b Shinji Izumiyama; Kenji Yagita; Reiko Furushima-Shimogawara; Tokiko Asakura; Tatsuya Karasudani; Takuro Endō (July 2003). "Occurrence and Distribution of Naegleria Species in Thermal Waters in Japan". The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 50 (s1): 514–5. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2003.tb00614.x. PMID 14736147. 
  13. ^ Yasuo Sugita; Teruhiko Fujii, Itsurou Hayashi, Takachika Aoki, Toshirō Yokoyama, Minoru Morimatsu, Toshihide Fukuma & Yoshiaki Takamiya (May 1999). "Primary amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri: An autopsy case in Japan". Pathology International 49 (5): 468–70. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1827.1999.00893.x. PMID 10417693. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hotta, Anne, and Yoko Ishiguro. A Guide to Japanese Hot Springs. New York: Kodansha America, 1986. ISBN 0-87011-720-3.
  • Fujinami, Kōichi. Hot Springs in Japan. Tokyo: Board of Tourist Industry, Japanese Government Railways; Maruzen Company, Ltd., 1936.
  • Neff, Robert. Japan's Hidden Hot Springs. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, 1995. ISBN 0-8048-1949-1.
  • Seki, Akihiko, and Elizabeth Heilman Brooke. The Japanese Spa: A Guide to Japan's Finest Ryokan and Onsen. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2005. ISBN 0-8048-3671-X. Reprinted as Ryokan: Japan's Finest Spas and Inns, 2007. ISBN 0-8048-3839-9.

External links[edit]

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