Onsen 温泉 (Hot spring)
“Onsen” [温泉/おんせん] is one of many highlights, which you should definitely check out when traveling, or residing in Japan.
There are huge number of “Onsen” in Japan. This is manly because Japan has a very active geological landscape. Also in Japan, there is a law about hot spring which states that the waster has to exceed 25℃/77F and has to contain 19 specific mineral components.
If you have a chance to visit “Onsen”, we’ll highly recommend you to stay in a “ryokan” [旅館] (traditional japanese hotel). These places are specially designed inns, and differ in many ways from traditional hotels in the west.
Most “Ryokan” have “open air Onsen” and “Indoor-Onsen”, so you can enjoy both “Onsen”.
Also you can enjoy delicious Japanese food and “o-sake” [お酒] (alcohol).
As I said earlier, onsen contain a variety of 19 different minerals, which can have a significant effect on your health, or you can freshen up the fatigues of your trip. And Japanese food and “sake” will promise the untroubled sleep.
HOW TO ENJOY
There are some steps to enjoy “onsen”.
1. Wash your body before entering the bath.
2. Pour hot water from the tip of your body. (This is called “Kakeyu”)
3. Slip into the bath carefully up to your waste and get used to the water tempreture.
4. Leave the bath without rinsing your body.
There are also some rules to enjoy “onsen”.
1. Do not add cold water.
2. Do not put towels in the bath.
3. Tattoos are not allowed. (Generally)
4. Avoid taking a bath right after drink alcohol.