Japanese Bathing Culture & History

For thousands of years, Onsen bathing has been an essential part of Japanese life. The ritual soaking in hot spring waters is considered vital for the relaxation and recuperation of the mind, body, and kokoro; the spirit, or heart.

Onsen bathing is deeply embedded within the historical, philosophical, and social layers of Japanese culture, and it demands strict rule of etiquette be followed. Onsen bathing is a therapeutic endeavor; it is not intended for washing. Individuals thus enter the baths naked and already clean. A quiet and peaceful atmosphere is also very important so that all bathers can enjoy the physical and psychological relief of the Onsen to its full extent.

In these busy modern times, little has changed. Onsen bathing is today regarded as an essential respite from the hectic nature of working life.

Bathing Etiquette

There are several rules of etiquette to remember when you go to Onsen. Knowing them can save you an embarrassing experience.

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Onsen & Spa Benefits

A powerful combination, Onsen and Thai Spa therapies are extremely effective individual treatments for numerous complaints and conditions, and are known to relieve stress and anxiety, soothe joint and muscular pain, improve circulation, aid detoxification, and nourish the skin. When combined together, therefore, they create a potent therapeutic experience that cannot be found elsewhere other than at Yunomori.

Drinking Milk After Onsen

The ritual of drinking milk after Onsen bathing developed in Japan over fifty years ago, when the majority of the population were using Sento or Onsen facilities instead of home baths. After bathing, rehydration is not only necessary, but an enjoyable part of the Onsen experience. However, soda drinks such as Coke or Sprite were very expensive for the middle-classes. This led to the distribution of bottled milk, coffee-flavoured milk, or fruit-flavoured milk to the Sento and Onsen customers, beginning a tradition that is still enjoyed today.

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