A trip to an onsen, or Japanese hot springs, is probably on most visitors' to-do lists when they go to Japan, especially in the colder months when the warming and healing properties of the mineral-rich waters can be more appreciated and when beautiful fall foliage or snow-coated landscapes make outdoor baths a pleasure for your eyes as well as your body.

Nevertheless, as appealing as the prospect of soaking in an onsen may be, some visitors feel apprehensive or at least a bit hesitant when it comes to how to use them and follow the correct manners. Do you just jump into the water? Do you wear a swimsuit? What do you do with your towel? What do you do when you're in the water?

Fortunately, for your enjoyment and edification, the good folks at Hoshino Resorts have created a charming and beautifully realized video series called "Hot Spring Manners -How to bathe in a hot spring":

The charm of this onsen manners video lies in the clever animation which draws inspiration from the Choju Giga 鳥獣戯画 (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals), a famous set of four picture scrolls created as early as the 12th century and often credited as being the oldest work of manga in Japan. Appropriately, the first scroll illustrates anthropomorphic rabbits and monkeys bathing, and later, a monkey thief who knocks over an anthropomorphic frog. In the video, however, it seems the monkeys, rabbits and frogs have all put away their differences and are happy to demonstrate correct onsen manners.

Hoshino Resorts intends to continue promoting information on Japanese manners and culture to the world, so you may see further videos on their official channel in the future.

By - Ben K.