Fudo no Yu was a community bath, meaning anyone was free to use it, and until last year it was left unsupervised. It was also one of a dwindling number of onsen in the Kanto region that allow traditional mixed bathing, known in Japanese as konyoku. Although Fudo no Yu ended up reopening a couple of months later, any opportunity for licentiousness has been strictly curtailed. The problems seen in Shiobara fit in with a wider trend that has seen a precipitous decline in the number of konyoku around Japan. In , the inaugural issue of Onsen Hihyo Hot-spring Critique dedicated its cover feature to the plight of mixed bathing.
2. They May Not Let You in With Tattoos
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Being naked in front of strangers is the stuff of nightmares for many people. But in Japan , being naked with strangers is part of the cultural experience of visiting a Japanese bath.
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Getting hot and steamy is deeply rooted in the Japanese culture, and public baths are still as popular as ever. Although you can find them indoors, most of them are outdoors where you can be at one with nature. All public baths have specific rules that you have follow, some of which may surprise you. Nobody is allowed to wear clothes in the Japanese baths— not even an itsy bitsy bikini. Embrace it! And in case you were wondering as we were Japanese women like to keep their downstairs au natural as well. Japan is well known for its attention to cleanliness and the baths are no exception. They were only legalised in and were used to brand outlaws as punishment. Because of this history and association, a lot of baths do not allow you to enter if you have a tattoo. A word of caution: people with tattoos may also find it hard getting a gym membership, or even some jobs in Japan, as there are companies that ban their staff from having tattoos.