Going to an Onsen in Japan

Just a little brief explanation about my experience in going to an Onsen(natural spring water bath) in Japan! 
Don't ever tell people that you've been to Japan if you never tried out their onsen.

What is onsen to Japanese?
Onsen is one of the most important asset of the Japanese daily life.
Almost every household in Japan will definitely have a bathtub in their bathroom. They soak themselves in hot water everyday after showering. Even though the water at home is not exactly natural spring water, but the point I'm trying to say here is that they just love to soak themselves in hot water la ok. ISHHH. 

We've met this uncle in his early 80s in one of the onsen town, with the minimum knowledge in Japanese he told us that he will go for onsen everyday. He said thanks to the onsen water he can still walk, feel very strong and doesn't fall sick despite his age. 

Where to find Onsen?
Almost every town will have at least ONE onsen place. There are even town that are famous just for their onsen. Like the one that I recently visited is Gero Onsen(下呂温泉) Town. Even the name of the town will have onsen in it (Thanks Captain Obvious *roll eyes*). But i personally love the onsen around Mt.Fuji/Hakone Lake area. The one I visited in Mt. Fuji called the "Bath of the red Fuji(紅富士の湯)" is in the top of my list! Superb view of the Mt Fuji while enjoying the onsen! These Japanese people so 幸せ(shiawase) can see Mt Fuji so often I cannot T.T 

What to know before visiting the Onsen?
1. If you have tattoo on your body, not the big big type with dragons and flowers, then you're ok to go into the onsen as long you cover your tattoo with bandage. Most onsen don't allow people with tattoo to go in as tattoo is related to Japanese Gangster, the Yakuza clan which they think they will affect the other customers in the onsen. 
2. Make sure you are able to accept the fact that going to an onsen means you'll need to be completely NAKED in front of other strangers. Well unless you have a private onsen in your own hotel room. If not then yes, be prepared to get naked!(sounds wrong but yes) 
3. Prepare your own towel. Most onsen do provide towel rental service but I personally prefer to use my own towel since I don't need to pay for it(cheapskate alert)! 

What to do when going into the Onsen?
1. Go to the counter and tell them the amount of people that are going in and they will have a key for each person for their locker to keep their belongings. 
2. Go to your locker.
3. Get naked.
4. Wash your body with the shower gel provided before going into the onsen. Yes I REPEAT. WASH YOURSELF BEFORE GOING IN. It's for hygiene purpose. They want to keep their water clean therefore it's a manner to wash before going in. 
5. Do not soak the towel or your hair into the onsen. Again, it's for hygiene purpose, most onsen place don't allow you to have your towel or your hair in the water. But there are exception of course, some places are not that particular but so far the one I went to all don't allow people to put their towel and hair in the water. 
6. ENJOY!!! 

Do email me at suetli_low@outlook.com if there's any questions you would love to ask about Japan!
I'll try my best to help out! :)



  1. I'd need a private Onsen. Can't imagine getting into one with people I know. I'm fine with strangers.

  2. Hey Janice nice to meet you =) Need to visit onsen one day!


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