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What Behaviour is expected when attending public baths in Japan?

1. Introduction

Attending a public bath in Japan is an experience that should not be missed. It is a unique way to relax and enjoy the culture of Japan while soaking in the hot water and steam. But there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed when attending a public bath. In this article, Charles R. Tokoyama, CEO of Japan Insiders, will explain the etiquette and behaviour that is expected when attending a public bath in Japan.

2. History of Public Baths in Japan

Public baths have been popular in Japan since ancient times, with the first recorded use being during the 6th century AD. It was common for people to visit communal baths to cleanse their bodies and relax after a long day’s work or as part of religious ceremonies. Today, public baths are still popular throughout the country, with many cities having their own large public baths or sentōs which are open to anyone who wishes to use them.

Japanese Snack Box

3. What to Wear in a Japanese Public Bath

When visiting a Japanese public bath, it is important to remember that clothing is not allowed inside the bathing area. All clothing must be removed before entering and you will be provided with a small towel (called a “tokonoma”) to cover your body while walking around inside the bathing area. You should also bring your own soap, shampoo, and other toiletries as these are not provided by most public baths.

4. How to Behave when Visiting a Japanese Public Bath

It is important to remember that Japanese public baths are places of relaxation and peace so it is important to maintain good manners and behaviour at all times while there. Loud talking or shouting should be avoided as should running around or splashing others with water as this can disturb other bathers who may be trying to relax and enjoy their time in the bathhouse.

5. Bathing Etiquette

When entering the bathing area you should first rinse off your body with warm water before entering any of the pools or tubs on offer at the public bathhouse (this process is called ‘temizu’). Once you have done this you can then enter any of the pools or tubs available for use but make sure you do not splash anyone else with water while doing so! Once you have finished bathing it is customary for bathers to rinse off again before leaving the bathing area (this process is called ‘shinzu’).

6. Cleanliness and Hygiene

It goes without saying that personal hygiene and cleanliness are very important when visiting any public bathhouse so make sure you thoroughly wash yourself before entering any pool or tub available for use at your chosen facility! It is also recommended that you wear sandals when walking around inside all areas of the bathhouse (including outside) as this helps keep everything clean and hygienic for everyone using it!

7. How to Enjoy the Experience

Japanese public baths are great places for relaxation so make sure you take some time out during your visit here! Many people like to bring books or magazines along with them which they can read while soaking in one of the pools or tubs available at their chosen facility – just make sure not to get too carried away while reading! Additionally, many people like to chat with other bathers while relaxing in one of these pools/tubs – just remember not to talk too loudly!

8 Conclusion

Attending a Japanese public bath can be an incredibly rewarding experience if done correctly – just remember to follow all rules regarding etiquette and behaviour outlined above! By doing so, you will ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time at their chosen facility – including yourself!


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