How to use a hot spring bath
In Japan, which has many volcanoes, there are hot springs all over the country. Various minerals have melted into the hot springs that spring up from the ground, and each has been said to have efficacy. There has also been a custom of long-term stay and medical treatment called "Toji" for a long time to recover from illness or injury. With such a history, hot springs are one of the main purposes of Japanese travel, even in modern times. In most cases, the traditional Japanese inns are equipped with large public baths where hot springs are drawn. In addition, there are outdoor baths in these large public baths. Enjoying a sense of freedom surrounded by beautiful scenery and under the starry sky is great fun for the Japanese.
By the way, it is natural to wear a bathing suit in a hot spring such as in Europe, but it is well known that Japanese don’t wear swimsuits when taking hot springs even in large public baths where many people go in together. Therefore, large public baths are generally separated by gender. However, there are places of mixed bathing around the old-fashioned Toji lodging, and the unique taste is attracting spa mania. Even in such cases, it seems that the clothes halls are separate in many cases so that women can feel as comfortable as possible when taking a bath.
When using the public bath, there are manners, including washing the body and head before bathing in the bathtub, washing a tub or chair lightly after using it in the space to wash the body, and refraining from soaking the hair and towels in the bathtub. To not keep these manners is one of the acts considered very disgusting in Japan, so please try to be a little careful (For detailed information on manners, refer to "The Public Bathroom Introduction"). One basic point of thinking is "everyone comfortably takes a bath." If you are aware of this, you do not have to think so seriously.
For those who say "I want to take a hot spring although I don’t feel comfortable being naked in a public bath," I recommend inns where there are "Kashikiri private hot springs (also called "family baths")" and "guest room hot springs." A Kashikiri private hot spring is a medium-sized bathroom in the hall that you can reserve time for, such as for 60 minutes for a group. It is common to reserve in advance to use it (For details, refer to "What is Kashikiri Private Onsen?"). A guest room hot spring is a bathroom that is installed in each guest room, but unlike a bathroom of a general hotel, it is a typical hot spring bathtub made of hinoki cypress, rocks, etc. It is attractive to take a bath without concern at any time whenever you want, but it is quite a luxury item, as it draws hot springs in each room. Of course the room charge will be higher, but if you are unfamiliar with public baths to taste Japanese style luxury, it is one of the things we would like you to experience once.