Home > Japan In-depth >  > Seasonal Rhythm > Japan's Famous Hot Springs > Japan's Famous Hot Springs How to take a bath

Japan's Famous Hot Springs How to take a bath

Japan's Famous Hot Springs

Japan In-depth

How to take a Japanese-style bath

Normally there are separate baths for male and female guests. At each entrance, you will see short split curtains called noren printed with signs to indicate the following: For male "OTOKOYU" or "TONOGATA", and for female "ONNAYU" or "GOFUJIN".

You should not go into the bathtub right after coming from a dressing room. Please pour hot water over yourself and clean your body by using a basin or shower beforehand ("washing" is not always necessary). Of course, you want to be careful not to splash your neighboring guests.

The water is often kept at about 40°C in Japanese hot springs, and many Japanese people are accustomed to such a high temperature. You will see a faucet to cool down the water at each tub, but please do not add too much cold water, which may affect the enjoyment of other guests.

Do not put your towel into the tub or wash your body using soap in the tub, as a hot spring is considered a "communal bath," which everyone wants to enjoy.


At Japanese inns, yukata will be available for your use. Yukata is a sort of Japanese traditional dress in the style of kimono and today, people often wear it at summer festivals and events including fireworks displays. In these inns, you are allowed to walk on communal spaces such as corridors and dining rooms with yukata on. You may also want to go outside wearing yukata and putting geta, traditional shoes on.

How to wear yukata

After draping yukata, open the left part grasping around the center of left edge (called migoro), and have the right part twist around your body, grasping the migoro of right edge. Then, put the left part over the right part and twist around your body.

Pull the right migoro to the left around your waist, which is now under the left part of yukata, to make it fit to your body (it is recommended not to make it too tight).

Finally, put obi (belt) around your waist and tie in front, and pass the knot to the back.