Meeting new cultures during trips in the world is quite exciting though we sometimes have difficulty to accept. As you may know, Japan has some unique, but could be uncomfortable ones to carry out for foreign tourists. Anyway, how do you feel to take a bath with others in public?
No swimsuit is a must for Onsen or Sento
Onsen (温泉), Japanese hot spring or Sento (銭湯), communal bath house, could be one of the unique cultures in Japan because of being naked with others while talking a bath. According to the latest questionnaire about Japanese cultures for foreign tourists, the distinctive one rooted from a long time ago, is the most embarrassing and not comfortable to carry out.
In my case as a normal Japanese guy, I used to go to a local Sento with my father when I was a kid though we had a bath at home. Going to Sento sometimes with a close person is a good opportunity to have deep communication while relaxing. Anyway, how do foreign tourists feel the open relationship for the first time?
Shameful to wash a body in front of some people but it’s for only a few times before getting used to. (Canadian/30s/Woman)
Really strange that everyone takes the same bath in the buff. (Ukranian/20s/Woman)
Wearing swimsuit in a public bath is now strange after having Onsen and Sento. (American/20s/Man)
Funny custom for Japanese people because they’re known as shy and serious. (Australian/40s/Man)
As a way to relieve a shame of being naked in front of others, quite a lot of people naturally try to hide their important parts by a handy towel. Basically, you can buy or get for free some amenities on the spot like a towel, soap, shampoo, shaver, and so on. Belongings to Onsen or Sento is nothing except for yourself.
Can you make up your mind to have the unique culture in fact? Honestly, I’d like you to visit any Onsen which have beautiful scenery when you come to Japan especially in winter. Taking a huge bath while drinking Sake in relax should be awesome experience for you. Remember, no swimsuit for Onsen or Sento.