How To Have The Best Naked Onsen Experience

A traditional and exceptionally relaxing part of Japanese culture is the onsen, or hot spring experience. A time-honored tradition, communal bathing in naturally occurring geothermally heated spring water has become one of the most popular features for tourism in Japan. Not only for the Japanese but also for foreigners, soaking in indoor and outdoor hot springs, relaxing, and sharing quiet time with friends or family has become a great way to escape the hectic pace and noise of modern day life. And although some foreigners might feel uncomfortable being naked around others, it is definitely an experience one should not miss when they visit Japan.

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In Where's Stu's "Hot Springs in Japan" video, Stu takes his two friends who have never been to an onsen to Yomori no Sato. Naturally, the first thing they have to come to terms with is the requirement that all bathers must be naked. Most onsens are divided into male and female sections but there are still a few onsens around that are mixed. Onsens typically have an indoor and outdoor section as well. Once entering an onsen area, shoes are removed and placed in a locker, clothes are removed and left in the changing room, and only a small towel is taken into the bath and placed around the neck or head.

Something that might be important to note is that tattoos are not allowed in most onsens, so it is advised to cover them up if you plan to enter one. Before entering the actual bath, there is a shower area where people must shower before soaking in the hot spring. This is to ensure that the hot spring stays pure and clean for everyone using it.

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Onsen facilities usually have a garden, lounge, or relaxation room to stretch, sleep, or get a massage. There is a cafe as well as an area for food and drink, a children’s area, and gift shop for selling local snacks, therapeutic lotions, and creams.

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Along with relaxing the body and reducing stress, onsens are also known for their therapeutic qualities. As the water is sourced naturally from the earth it contains many minerals such as iron or sulfur. Different areas contain different minerals which are said to heal or soothe different ailments and sicknesses.

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As Japan is a volcanic island, thousands of hot springs are available and many towns are dependent on the popularity of onsens. Areas like Atami, Gero and Hakone are all famous for its onsen and ryokan (Japanese-style hotel). Yomori no Sato is located near Tokyo and can be accessed via the JR Line. Head over to the facility's official website if you are interested in having a relaxing onsen experience.

Check out the whole video here!


By - grape Japan editorial staff.

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Hot Springs in Japan: How To Have The Best Naked Onsen Experience
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