How to Onsen

Greetings lovely readers! Merry (belated) christmas and Happy (belated) new year 2015! We are so sorry for not updating for quite a long time. Everyone has been busy with their works and holidays. Some of us just got back from a Euro trip and the other from a China trip (I’m going too at end of this month. YAY). Let’s hope they will update their stories soon!

Enough with the chitchat, today I’m gonna share with you on how to take a bath in an Onsen. Onsen (温泉) is a term for hotspring in Japanese language. However, the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the onsen. It was traditionally used as public bathing places and now play an important role in Japanese domestic tourism.a0001_012001

Personally, I think it’s a must to have a dip in an onsen while you are in Japan. Though for foreigners the idea of getting naked with a whole lot strangers might seemed… strange. At first I also against the idea of having a bath in an onsen. But let me tell you this, it was not worth it to be reluctant trying an onsen. Once you are already in the water, you’ll be thankful that you didn’t miss one of the best thing life could offer. If I may quote Naruto I’d say, “Believe it!”

I was quite lucky that my first encounter with onsen was in a Ryokan (a Japanese style inn) in Miyajima island (just a 30 minutes away by boat from Hiroshima city). I went there as part of a study trip with my group from the Center. Upon entering the onsen, there’s a changing room. You have to put off your clothes (all of them) no swim wear allowed. Before taking a dip in the water, clean yourself first at the bathing section not far from the pool. Usually soap and shampoo are also provided. After you are cleaned, enter the pool quietly. No jumping and don’t splash water everywhere. Don’t dip your towel in the water or worse wash them in the water. No swimming as well. Just sit in the water and enjoy the heat. Don’t talk too loud and respect other people in the bath. Of course, no camera is allowed inside the onsen as well. Enjoy the bath for 20 minutes at max and get out of the water. Clean your body again with water in the bathing section and walk out to change your clothes. After an onsen, don’t forget to hydrate yourself by drinking much water.the-amazing-onsen2012-12-20-1804Refresh after onsen. (Miyajima island)

Having a dip in an onsen is good to ease the fatigue in our body. Especially for travelers who have walked so much during their travel. Onsen in Japan is a cheap option compare to having a massage. My fave one is located in the middle of Osaka. It is called “Spa World”.DSC09728Ticket vending machine to the onsen in Spa WorldDSC09731DSC09734Entrance to the bathislamic-bathIslamic bath in Spa Worldp12-jenkins-spa-world-c-20140419European bathphoto_baliBalinese bath

Though I’m not sure if they get the hot water from a hot spring or not, the place was really fancy. With a 1000 yen, you can enjoy all the onsen facility to your heart content. There are 2 baths, the european bath and the asian bath. Every month they swap the bath to be used by men and women. Of course it’s a separate bath. Personally, I like to go alone to an onsen. That way, I don’t have to see my friends or family naked -_- Only people I don’t know.

So, bear in mind if you happen to visit Japan, put onsen as one of your to do list. There are a lot of options to choose. Do your research and have a try! (npa)

Spa World Osaka is located in Shinsekai near Hitachi/Osaka Tower.

As I said before, It’s not allowed to take picture inside the bath. So, some of the pictures I post here are from the internet.

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