Take an Onsen
Taking a hot-spring bath is one way to soak up Japan s culture, but the code of conduct can be mystifying. Follow our guide to impeccable onsen etiquette.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOOR
Men’s baths are designated by a blue noren curtain with a 男 symbol, while women’s use a red noren curtain
COVER UP THAT INK
Tattoos are associated with organized crime in Japan; as a result, many onsens ban them entirely. Cover small ones
with a bandage.
DON’T FORGET TO WASH
Entering an onsen unwashed
is impolite. Sit at a wash station – each has a stool, bowl, tap and shower – and
douse yourself down.
DITCH THE SWIMSUIT
Traditional onsens have a strict dress code: birthday suits only. A small, strategically placed towel can be used to preserve