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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Bath Manners Question by pandab on 6 October 2007 6:05am
I'm leaving for Japan next week, and while researching places I want to visit the other night, I came across something I simply MUST try.

In Tokyo, in Odaiba, there is a Japanese bath (or onsen) theme park. That's right. Called Oedo Onsen, it is a theme park dedicated to the Japanese art of taking a bath.

I know the general rules of taking a Japanese bath, but I do have a question.

Has anyone visit this place? If so, do you know if you are supposed to bring your own towels, soap and such? Or do they provide the equipment?

I know they provide the yukata, but I'm wondering if I should take my own bath stuff with me when I go.

Oedo Onsen features several different types of both full Japanese baths and foot baths. They have massages, saunas, fortune telling, food (about 5 restaurants), shops and all sorts of other stuff. It looks fascinating!

Re: Bath Manners Question by geordiegirl on 7 October 2007 8:46pm
Nothing explanatory on the web....?
Re: Bath Manners Question by pandab on 8 October 2007 2:16am
Nope. I went to the onsen web site and found a few entries in various forums, but nothing about what you should bring with you.

One person reviewed the onsen and said it was terrible because they made him cover his tatoos. Apparently, he was unaware that tatooed persons are not allowed before he paid to go in, and he didn't understand why.

In Japan, tatoos are closely identified with the Yakuza, a sort of Japanese Mafia, and people with tatoos, whether Japanese are not, are regarded with suspicion. Almost all public bath houses and other places like swimming pools ban people with tatoos.

Oddly enough, some places even ask people wearing sandles to stay out. Not because they fear criminals, but because of dirty feet! I guess I can see their point. I mean, if you're in a traditional restaurant where you have to remove your shoes, it could be a problem. :+)


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