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An onsen (温泉) is a bathing place near a hot spring. Onsen are in Japan.[1][2][3][4] Going to an onsen costs about ¥1000 (US$9), which is about twice as much as going to a sentō bathhouse.[2]

Water[change | change source]

To count as a real onsen, the water must be at least 25° and have the right amounts of minerals, or dissolved rocks, in it. For example, the water must have iron, calcium and sulfur. Some onsen smell like rotten eggs because of hydrogen sulfide.[5]

Hotels[change | change source]

Many onsen have a hotel nearby. This kind of hotel is called a ryokan.[1] Not all ryokan have onsen. Some ryokan are 1200 years old.[5]

History[change | change source]

There have been onsen in Japan for all of history.[1] People have been using the Dogo Onsen on Shikoku for as long as 3000 years.[6]

Manners[change | change source]

Bathers at an onsen are there to relax, not to get clean. To keep the water from getting dirty, people at an onsen must shower before getting into the water.[1] In very cold weather, it is sometimes all right to get into the onsen just for a short while to warm up, then go shower, then come back. Some onsen allow bathing suits, but most of the time, visitors must wear no clothes at all. This is to keep any clothes that might be dirty out of the water, and keep the water clean. When walking to the onsen, people cover their private parts with a small towel and then put the towel on their heads after they get into the water. People are not supposed to put their heads or hair in the water, and they are not supposed to have tattoos. This is because, in Japan, people think of the Yakuza criminals when they see tattoos.[1]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Onsen Etiquette: 7 Basic Rules for Hot Springs in Japan". The Manual. March 16, 2019. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Takahiro Takiguchu (November 13, 2019). "Japanese public baths: The difference between a sento and an onsen". Stripes. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  3. Scott Clark (1992). "The Japanese Bath: Extraordinarily Ordinary". In Joseph Jay Tobin (ed.). Re-made in Japan: Everyday Life and Consumer Taste in a Changing Society. Yale University Press. pp. 89–104. ISBN 0300060823. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  4. Mihaela Serbulea; Unnikrishnan Payyappalliman (July 16, 2012). "Onsen (hot springs) in Japan—Transforming terrain into healing landscapes (Abstract)". Health & Place. 18 (6): 1366–1373. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.06.020. PMID 22878276. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "All You Need to Know about Japanese Public Baths". Cool JP. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  6. Suemedha Sood (November 29, 2012). "The origins of bathhouse culture around the world". BBC Travel. Retrieved July 8, 2021.