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.
1. You’ll Be Naked
Many articles and forum discussions about onsen state that even mixed bathing is done in the nude. However, I have read several blog entries of women who were told to cover their private parts with a towel by the other Japanese bathers. Some descriptions of onsen on japan -guide, on the other hand, state that mixed bathing with swimwear is available. The same seems to be the case for some all? How common is nude mixed bathing really?
2. They May Not Let You in With Tattoos
For many Westerners, though, the fact that these traditions involve being naked with strangers is awkward at best, even though men and women bathe separately. I suggested a different town that had an attraction I wanted to see, and thought I was off the hook. I should have done my research better: That town was famous for its onsen as well. Two terms are basic when talking about Japanese baths: onsen and sento. An onsen has natural hot spring water. A sento, usually translated as public bath, typically uses regular water, traditionally heated by burning wood.
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.