Onsen Experience

May 26, 2010 vidajimenez

An onsen is a hot spring bathing facility that allows you to relax and heal your body from everyday stresses. I was very interested in the experience and since it was recommended my roommate Courtnie and I searched for a local onsen. We found an indoor onsen located in Roppongi, a small day spa called ViVi.  But most of the traditional onsens are outside of the mainland of Tokyo and typically outside due to the nature of the bath water.

Little did we know that traditional onsen are also known for naked communion, this is supposed to help bring down barriers and help individuals be more comfortable in our own skin. The traditional onsens are also known for mixed sex bathing but since has changed to same-sex  style after the meiji moderning period.As opposed to western style, it is custom to wear bathing suits to spas, public pools and so forth.

My personal experience was a little shocking because we were ignorant about the nude customs but lucky the locals were very understanding and helpful. Our onsen was only same-sex and emphasize showering before and after bathing. The whole experience was an eye opener and made me realize how different our norms are compared to Japan. I would definitely recommend if you are in Japan to try the hot spring baths.

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Entry Filed under: Assignment,Culture

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