【TRAVEL Q&A】What are the rules you should remember when you take a bath in Japan? Q&As regarding staying at inns or having a bath at home

13.October.2017 | SPOT

Below are the rules you should remember when you visit inns or your friend’s house in Japan.

 

1: Why do I have to take my shoes off before entering a house?

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You will see shoes lined up neatly when you visit your friend’s home in Japan. This means that first-off, you have to take off your shoes before entering the house! In Japan, the custom is to take your shoes off when entering a home. This custom has existed for many years in Japan. Japanese people in the past ate their meals while sitting on tatami mats and slept on the same tatami mats. (Some people still prefer to sleep on the floor.) Because of this custom Japanese people want to have clean floors in their homes. It is now common to use a dining table and beds but this custom which has been passed down over many years will not be changed so easily. So try to become accustomed to wearing no shoes in a home while you are staying in Japan.

 

 

2: Slippers in toilets? Why?

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Japanese people tend to think toilets are a special space separated from the other rooms in the house and thus they prepare special “toilet slippers.” Please note that you should wear these slippers while you are inside the toilet. Also, many restaurants in Japan have special “toilet slippers,” so use these when you enter the toilet. In addition, be sure to take your “toilet slippers” off when you leave the toilet.

 

3: What are the rules for using tatami rooms?

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Many ryokans (Japanese inns) have tatami-mat rooms. Japanese people are very particular about cleanliness so do not forget to take off your slippers before entering a tatami room.

 

4:What should I be aware of when I use a hot spring?

温泉

Below are the rules you must keep in mind when you use a hot spring bath in Japan.

 

1) Being naked in a hot spring bath is nothing unusual.

Take off your clothes before using a hot spring and put them in one of the lockers provided. If you are embarrassed about becoming naked in front of strangers, use a towel to hide your personal spots. You must get used to being naked because using bathing suits in a hot spring is prohibited.

 

2) Wash your body

The first thing you will see as soon as you enter a hot spring bath are mirrors all lined up. Take a small seat and sit in front of one of the mirrors. It is prohibited to take a bath without washing your body! Be sure to scrub down and get clean before soaking in the bath!

 

3) Now, let’s take a bath!

Hot springs in Japan have many effects such as skin-cleansing effect and nerve pain/back ache relieving effect. Be careful because some hot springs are quite hot. Also, keep in mind that you must not put your towel in the bath water.

 

 

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