Onsen Rules: A Case Study of Beppu

    There are many hot springs in towns and cities all over Japan, each with unique sets of onsen rules and customs about how to act in the local hot springs. In this article, we will introduce one important rule to the people of Beppu, who regularly visit Beppu’s hot springs. Read below to know more about Japan Onsen Manners.
    Let’s Get to Know Onsen Manners!

    question photo,three options of the local rule

    The Local Onsen Rules

    Out of the three below options, which do you think is an important rule to the Beppu citizens entering the hot spring?
    A. sit on the edge of the onsen to make it a foot bath.
    B. do not sit on the edge so that people can lean their heads on the rim instead.
    C. wear glasses to better enjoy the steam.

    answer photo, three options of the local rule

    The correct answer is B, “Do not sit on the edge.” However, even Japanese people who are not familiar with Beppu’s customs do now know this. In some other parts of Japan, it is ok to soak only your legs, or to sit on the edge while taking a break.

    people relax by resting their head on the rim

    In Beppu’s hot springs, people like to relax by resting their head on the rim of the bath, so sitting on the edge of the bath is like sitting naked on someone’s pillow! Therefore, this is an important rule to the locals which is followed diligently.

    people relax by resting their head on the rim

    Therefore, you should definitely strive to avoid sitting on the edge and instead use it as a pillow with the local people.

    foot bath

    If you wish to have a foot bath, there are other, specially marked locations where this is encouraged, but it will be written on a sign somewhere nearby. Many foot baths in Beppu can be found. For example, at the Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell) and the Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pool Hell) on the Beppu Hells Tour, so please stop by and enjoy it there.

    Take Caution

    As a side note, the answer B suggests you wear glasses, but this can actually be dangerous because they will not defog and prevent you from seeing in front of you. Also, the metal parts will rust easily in the steam from the hot springs, so contacts are a better choice while in the onsen. In Japan, they also sell special bathroom glasses specifically meant to not fog up while in the bath. Please keep this in mind and enjoy the hot springs safely.

    Beppu onsen town

    Now that you know the onsen rules, you will definitely want to visit Beppu’s Onsen, which are the best in Japan. Why not come immerse yourself in the ancient, deeply-rooted onsen culture and enjoy becoming one with the local residents?


    How to get to Beppu onsen
    Recommended hot springs and other attractions can be found by clicking the buttons below, so please have a look!

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