Precautions and Manners for Bathing

【General Cautions before Bathing】

Do not take a bath when you aren’t feeling well.

Especially, people with chronic diseases and pregnant women must be careful about their physical condition, the temperature of the water and bathing time. If necessary, follow a doctor’s instructions.

If you are extremely exhausted or tired after intensive exercising, you need to take a rest before bathing.

Make sure not to bathe after drinking, especially when you are intoxicated.

Try not to enter the bath directly after or before eating.

Drink a glass of water to avoid being dehydrated due to sweating.

Make sure to keep an eye on the children, the elderly and handicapped people in order for them not to get hurt or drown.

【General Cautions while Bathing】

Soak your body slowly and gradually in the hot water in order to get your body used to the heat.

Take a bath relaxingly and just move your limbs gently except for the bathing exercise.

If the water temperature isn’t suitable for your health or liking, adjust it properly, and if it is impossible, don’t get into the water.

If you feel sick, ask people around you for help. If you cannot find anyone to help you, get out of the hot water keeping your head down and lie down.

Get out of the bathtub slowly while holding the handrail so as not to feel dizzy.

【General Cautions after Bathing】

Drink a glass of water to avoid being dehydrated due to sweating.

After bathing avoid strenuous activity and excessive alcohol consumption.

Take note of your own condition after bathing and rest if you feel unwell.

Precautions and Manners in Public Bathing Facilities

【Precautions and Manners in all places of Public Bathing Facilities】

You cannot wear a bathing suit in the bathroom.

You cannot take photos in most public bathing facilities as a general rule, and if the bath area is empty and you do want to take photos there, ask the onsen staff first.

In general, if you have tattoos, wear body art or have a tattoo seal, you cannot enter public bathing facilities.

Sometimes people with tattoos are allowed to enter some kashikiri-buro (private-use baths) and heya-buro (baths in guest rooms) in hotels and ryokan (Japanese-style traditional inns). Make sure clerks allow your entry.

Do not talk too loudly or make a disturbance.

Most sento do not supply soap, shampoo, rinse or a towel; therefore, bring your toiletries to the sento or buy them there.

Generally, pairs of big and small towels and yukata or relaxing wear are equipped in large accommodations and bathing facilities.

You can bring a small towel into the washing area for washing yourself or wiping water from your body before going back to the dressing room.

After using a towel supplied by the public bathing facilities, leave it at the towel return place. Do not take it back home.

The bathroom is slippery because of onsen ingredients; therefore, walk carefully.

For decency, you (both men and women) should cover their “private areas” after taking off their clothes. However, don’t dip your towels in the bathtub.

【Precautions and Manners in Dressing Rooms of Public Bathing Facilities】

Use a coin locker if they are available for your belongings, be sure to lock it, put the key of the coin locker on your wrist and be careful not to lose it.

Japan is generally a safe country, but you cannot be too careful.

Put your valuables into the valuable storage device if there are any available.

After bathing, make sure to dry your body before entering the dressing room.

【Precautions and Manners in Washing Rooms of Public Bathing Facilities】

Use a bath bucket to pour the hot tap water or scoop the hot water from the bathtub and a small stool to sit on at the washing place when you wash your body.

After using a bath bucket and a stool, put them in their original location.

Before stepping into the bathtub, make sure to wash your body thoroughly and wash away all foam with the shower at the washing place.

When you take a shower, sit on the bath chair and make sure not to spray water on people around you.

After using the washing place, wash soap foam away and throw away any hair and trash.

Do not leave your personal bathing items at the washing place when you are not using it or
leave them on the special designated shelves.

Do not dye your hair at the washing place.

Do not do laundry at the washing place.

【Precautions and Manners in Bathtubs of Public Bathing Facilities】

If you have long hair, tie up your hair or wear a shower cap in order not to dip your hair in the hot water.

Do not put a towel in the bath. When you get into the hot water, put a towel on your head or wrap your head with the towel like a turban.

You are not allowed to swim in the bathtub even if there is no one else in the bath or the bath is big enough to swim in.

【Precautions and Manners in Saunas of Public Bathing Facilities】

Take off all your clothes before entering the sauna in public bathing facilities. However, you can use a towel to cover your “private area”.

Before entering the sauna, wipe your body thoroughly.

Do not bring books, smartphones, drinking bottles or other things except towels into the sauna.

After using the sauna, rinse the sweat off your body before getting into the bathtub.

If you get into the cold bath after using the sauna, be careful as much as possible to avoid experiencing serious conditions like heart failure.


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