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Bathe naked with strangers? Welcome to a Japanese 'onsen'

18 Comments
By Linda Lombardi

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18 Comments
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Not fine with my tattoos which are expensive works of art...but I've got to look at some wrinkly old dude who looks like the last chicken on the shelf at Tescos.

Hey...let's just do what the article says and not look at each other ok?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Amazing experience after a day skiing or playing tennins. The place I go to seems to have a lot of working-class types. When I went a couple of weeks ago after tennis, suffered a bit due to the hot water on a hot day. Hopiing management will cool things down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The idea of bathing with others is gross. I don't go in swimming pools for the same reason.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Love onsens but prefer the outdoors one. In Nagano Alps in the winter snow or red leaf season sitting in a hot steaming pool enjoying the nature and chatting with people.

Or like in parts of Kobe with a view of the Akashi Bridge and the sea.

Don't understand why nudity bothers people when everyone is of the same sex.

Down the street is a public onsen one of the every few left. There were many but now just this one.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"An onsen has natural hot spring water. A sento, usually translated as public bath, typically uses regular water, traditionally heated by burning wood."

Don't forget the fake onsens where they reheat the water.

"LudditeToday 10:42 am JST

The idea of bathing with others is gross."

Never used to bother me, but these days the thought of fecal particulate, butt cheese, dead skin follicules etc, even though it may be cooked in hot water, is a giant deterrent. Prefer the bath at home.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

My local is an onsen with water from Arima. The sento's, all but one have now gone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stayed at an Onsen Ryokan in Niigata. I have a 2" by 2" tattoo on my left arm so I waited until an hour before closing when the Onsen was empty. Three people turned up after I got in but none saw my tattoo as they were busy in their little group chatting and relaxing. It is interesting to partake in a cultural activity that makes you go outside your normal behavior and be able to enjoy it. I recommend trying it at least once.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is why I've booked a hotel for me and my girlfriend with a private onsen - the two of us, fine... with complete strangers, nope

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Not fine with my tattoos which are expensive works of art...but I've got to look at some wrinkly old dude who looks like the last chicken on the shelf at Tescos.

Some places are ok with it my friend. Try Mie prefecture. The locals there are amazing, and I often see many people with tattoos bathing there. Also, with the tokyo olympics coming up, there has been talk of shelving this silly tradition.. fingers crossed. But also I've heard that if you cover it up with something then its no big deal.. I don't know as I'm not inked..

Hey...let's just do what the article says and not look at each other ok?

Agree.

Love onsens but prefer the outdoors one.

Absolutely. Same here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I love onsen. Unfortunately I haven't been able to visit much over this past year due to business concerns, but I went 3-4 times a year for the decade before this one. They are one of the great satisfactions of Japan, if not just to get away from your phone and email for a period of time, relax, and eat good food.

I may have to book a trip right now just writing about it!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Best things ever. Always have an extra nice sleep after a hot spring soak. Also seems to get rid of most hangover symptoms.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The hot bath at Nagoya airport is especially relaxing before and after a long flight to the States.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is why I've booked a hotel for me and my girlfriend with a private onsen - the two of us, fine... with complete strangers, nope.

I totally agree. I do the same with my family, the only time I go separate is when my father and brother in laws come, other than that, No.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Ta'ooed boys, the reason they don't want ta'ooed people is ta'oos indicate yakuza boys. Most onsens don't want yakuza in their onsens. What's with all this ta'ooing about anyway? Some places in America it's rare to see pure hide that's not been all blued up. And it's for life boys. Anyway, that's why onsens have the no ta'oo rules.

Why I call them ta'oo: in Spain a few years ago, a young Bri'ish ta'ooed couple with their 10-12 years old son walked by where I was sitting, which happened to be right in front of a ta'oo shop. The boy pointed and said, "Ta'oo! Ta'oo!" Classic. They were from the part of U.K. that glottal stops the "t".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Public bathing?

No thank you.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Westerners are such prudes especially Americans.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

OK Yuri, in some ways maybe but it's just different isn't it as most western countries don't have the onsen culture any more. Can you explain to me why Japanese people go in a public swimming pool (even indoors) almost fully clothed these days? That seems pretty prudish to me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bathed by a naked stranger? Welcome to a Japanese 'soapland'. ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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