For us taking a bath is not only to clean body, also important as relaxing time. According to a survey conducted for more than 30,000 people about winter bath time, 45% say they love it a lot, 43% say they like it, 10% it is OK, and 2% they don’t like it. (Source: http://weathernews.com/ja/nc/press/2012/120124.html) (Img: http://www.photo-ac.com/main/detail/96848?title=%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AC%E3%82%A4%E3%82%A2%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88%E3%80%80%E5%AE%B6%E6%97%8F%E9%A2%A8%E5%91%827)
Why do Japanese love hot springs so much?
It is said that the origin of bathing was in Buddhism that came from China in the 6th century. In the religion, taking a bath protects you against illness and gives you happiness, and later people began to think bathing is beneficial for health. During the Edo period (17th – 19th century), public bathes became popular and social place for people. In the beginning of those times, steam bath such as a sauna was the mainstream. Later hot bath tub like today took the place of it. Nowadays, every home has bathtub with water heater, some are equipped with cutting edge technology. As mentioned before, some public baths have developed as entertainment such as a super sentô.
Most Japanese take a bath every night
Some people prefer taking shower in the morning, but most people like taking a hot bath at night to be free from physical and mental fatigue of the day and then go to bed 100% clean. Hot bath stimulates metabolism and warm up body. Again the survey above says that on the average people are in the hot water for 15 minutes and 8 seconds, which means they spend in a hot water in the most part of their bath time.
Women make the most of bath time for beauty
They massage swollen and tired legs, and also use the steamy air for skin care. There are plenty of beauty goods, such as plastic massage roller to take off cellulite, bath additive to stimulate perspiration with ingredients that keeps skin healthy. If you don’t want to get bored in a long bath time, you can use the following products: Waterproof books, waterproof iPad case and a desk which is applicable for bathtub to support books and computer, planetarium for bathroom! Now, we would like to talk more about the wonderful Japanese bath and spa time
What is a typical Japanese bath like?
(Img: http://www.photo-ac.com/main/detail/3615?title=%E3%81%8A%E9%A2%A8%E5%91%82) It is composed of 2 zones as seen in the picture: One is to clean body with a shower and the other one is bath tub with water heater (a panel set in a wall). Remember a toilet is in another room. However, in subtropical Okinawa, there is no water heater in a tub.
When you are invited to stay someone’s home in Japan and take a bath, keep in mind that before bathing, clean your body with soap and try to keep clean tub water. Do not put towel in the tub.
Onsen (Hot springs)
In this country, we have plenty of onsen as well as volcanoes, so every onsen has its characteristic features in water colors (white, brown, green and black) and effects. In most onsen, men and women bathe naked separately, but some allow you to enter in a swim suit. (Img:http://www.photo-ac.com/main/detail/146788?title=%E8%87%B3%E7%A6%8F%E3%81%AE%E6%99%82%E9%96%93)
Super sentô is like a spa amusement park where you will find many kinds of spa such as ganban’yoku (hot stone spa), hot springs (with carbon dioxide water, herb water, Jacuzzi bath and so on), sauna, massage salon and restaurants, enjoying city view from above. Some facilities use real onsen water carried by truck everyday.
Monkeys in Onsen!
(Img: http://www.photo-ac.com/main/detail/141648?title=%E7%8C%BF) Have you ever seen some pictures in which wild monkeys are in hot springs? In Jigokudani Yaen-Koen (Nagano), you could find them in the winter, though you cannot bathe with them. Remember that this park is aimed to observe wild monkeys, so they are not always in hot springs. The history of the park is interesting: Monkeys used to come to the village for food and damage crops, so people decided not to kill them but to feed them in this park. During they are waiting for food in a cold day, one of them found an onsen and his group learnt how to warming up. – Jigokudani Yaen-Koen http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/english/html/top_e.htm
Get all over into hot mineral sand which warms up your body and is good for health. (Img: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Ibusuki.jpg) (Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ibusuki.jpg)
How to enjoy Onsen 100%
– Avoid taking a bath just after a meal. – Keep hydrated before bathing. – You don’t need to wash yourself with soap before bathing. Just put on water all over and rub lightly your body, because ingredients of thermal water exfoliate skin and take off waste in the pores. – If there are both indoor and outdoor bathes, start bathing the inner one and then try the outdoor one. It is because in the outdoor, there is big temperature difference in the air and the water, so the blood pressure can rise rapidly. – Take care so that your blood pressure doesn’t rise. Start bathing knee-deep in the water, and then the waist to the shoulder. – Drink much water after bathing.
Ganban’yoku (Hot stone spa)
(Img: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Kotohira-kadan20n4592.jpg) (Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kotohira-kadan20n4592.jpg) Wearing clothing called ‘Samue’, just lie down on a hot granite bed and you will perspire a lot, which lets the body waste and unnecessary water go out. It is said that Ganban’yoku is good for stress, constipation and rough.
If you are looking for a hot springs where you can enter in a swim suit…
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Yutopia may be ideal for you. This is a spa amusement park with several bathes such as wine, coffee and greentea. Also there are sauna and waterslides. Regardless of age everyone can enjoy. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun http://www.yunessun.com/english/ In conclusion, Japan has more attractive hot springs that make you healthy and beautiful, also impress you with scenic beauty that changes every season. Find your favorite one and we recommend that you enjoy your bath time like Japanese do.