Tag Archives: etiquette

How to Take an Onsen?|8 Rules & Manners of Japanese Onsen

Onsen Rules

No swim suit

Go Naked! No swim suit.
It is Japanese traditional culture of Japan, everyone goes into a bath together
Don’t be shameful!
Let’s enjoy together Onsen Bath!
If you will hesitate, don’t worry because we have three private open air baths.

Be Clean!

Be clean! Wash your XXX first.
Before entering the bathtub, it is customary to lightly wash your lower body outside the tub.
After that, you get in the bathtub and soak for a while.
Then you get out of the bathtub and scrub all over your body with soap.
When you have finished washing yourself, you get in the bathtub again and enjoy a good soak.

No Swimming

No running. No swimming.
You’d better walk slowly inside the bathroom because the floor may be very slippery because of ingredient of Onsen.
In addition, you never swim even if the bathtub is too big.
The major purpose of taking Onsen is not only to wash one’s body but also to rest and relax by soaking Onsen.

No Drunk Person

No drunk person inside the bathtub.
Usually, the temperature of Onsen is at least 40degrees (40℃).
So it is not good for your health for heavy drunk person to take or soak the bathtub.
To enjoy Onsen safely, please do not take the bath after drinking too much.

No glass inside the area.
As we all know, the people who take Onsen are all naked.
You never bring the dangerous or fragile things, like glass, inside the bathroom and locker room nether.

No Washing

No washing inside the bathtub.
There is a space provided for washing as well as a bathtub and shower.
Please wash your body and hair at the washing space.
And as we all know, you never wash your cloths inside the bathtub.

Watch Others<br /> when washing or showering

Watch others when washing or showering.
Many people would use and take Onsen at the same time.
You are not the only person to use it.
It is very important manner to take care other person around you.
Let’s share rest and relax time all together!

Don't Put Towel

Do not put towel inside the bathtub.
There are two major rules to take Onsen.
First, you should now allow your wash-towel or any soap into the bathtub.
Secondly, when you leave the bath, you do not drain the water.
These manners come from the fact that you are not the only person to use the bath water in the tub.

Wipe Before Entering Locker

Wipe your body before entering locker room.
To keep the locker room dry and clean, you would wipe yourself lightly with your wash-towel before entering there.
After wiping your body completely with your bath-towel in the locker room, you could wear “YUKATA”, bathing clothing, a kind of KIMONO.

thank you

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

About Basic Etiquette, Rules, and Manners at Ryokan

Including ryokan, there are unique rules and manners in Japanese houses and buildings. Here, I am going to introduce them in the time series from check-in to check-out.


If you will stay at ryokan with dinner, arrive by around 18:00 at the latest. This is because a lot of staff, such as Itamae (chef) and Nakai (waitress), are waiting for you looking forward to be able to serve the cuisine at its best. If you will be late, please contact ryokan in advance.


Now, you arrived at the objective ryokan. Here you might be confused first whether you take off the shoes. In traditional Japanese ryokan and Japanese house, we take off shoes at the door and become bare feet or wear footwear for inside. However, many recent ryokan take style to enter wearing shoes. In addition, it might also be hard to tell whether you take off shoes in some cases. (Even Japanese sometimes be confused.) In such a case, do not hesitate. Ask the ryokan staff on the spot.

In the case of long-term travel, your luggage will become absolutely large. Thus most people may use bags with casters. Yet, be careful here. As the floor of Japanese architecture is very delicate,  If you carry your bags in your hands without rolling casters(Of course our staff will take care of your large baggage). It will make you be welcomed as a guest with one rank up manners. Also, you carry your luggage by yourself to the room as far as it is not so large. While carrying, when they open doors or arrange your footwear, say “Arigatougozaimasu.” This one concern will let you achieve communication.

About Tatami

Japanese room’s floor is covered with Tatami. Tatami is a traditional flooring used in Japan and is a rectangular mat of about 1.8mx 0.9m with a core made of compressed rice straws and Tatami-omote, made of Igusa, a kind of grass, wrapping around the core. This Tatami are laid over rooms at most ryokan.

Tatami Room

It is a standard to take off shoes, of course, and room shoes, like slippers and relax with bare feet at Tatami room. So, when entering a guest room, take off shoes and slippers in front of the main chamber laid with Tatami. In addition, it is advisable to arrange those taken off shoes and slippers at that time.

Shiturae (interior setting) of Japanese-style room

If you look carefully Japanese-style room, you will notice that lots of “paper” is used in the room, such as Shoji (screen), Fusuma (sliding door), wallpaper, lighting shade, and so on. Because it is paper, it is easy to tear or get dirt. So please use them gently. If you damage or stain them, notify that to ryokan staff.


About Futon (bedding)

Basically, you can leave Futon that was used during bedtime without folding, but declare to ryokan staff if you made it dirty.

About Yukata (informal kimono)

Most ryokan are equipped with Yukata as bedding. You can wear Yukata anytime during your staying at ryokan. You can wear it of course inside and can even go out to town wearing it at onsen town.


Yukata is a kind of Japanese traditional Kimono and is said to be clothing for bathing in ancient. It became widely used in the purpose of sucking skin moisture by wearing after bath from around the Azuchi Momoyama era, then it seems to have become a kind of clothing loved by people after entering the Edo era.

As there are manners and rules on the way of wearing Yukata, you will look “Iki (chic)” if you take them.

・Please change your cloths to YUKATA(robe) during your stay.

・Please use YUKATA as well as pajama and you can go out of your room in the YUKATA.

・Also, there is a CHABAORI (outer robe) to wear over the YUKATA during autumn to spring.

*The point is to make the left collar come front for both men and women.


Food is one of the great funs of a trip. Please fully enjoy “Washoku; the Japanese traditional food culture” that was also registered in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.

Japanese Food

There are various rules and manners in Washoku, there are something so profound about that we can even make a book just in how to use chopsticks. Even few Japanese have mastered it perfectly. Thus, it might be the best just to enjoy meal without worrying too much about fine rules. People who still care about it may refer to this site:


Also, many ingredients and cooking will come up, which you of course have never eaten or even never seen. Even if you think you dislike them, first, please try at least one time.


Check-out and depart towards the next destination. Most ryokan should accept credit cards if they are familiar with welcoming customers from abroad. However, it is possible that you cannot use credit cards issued overseas on terminals in Japan. So, it may be advisable to have some consideration, such as having several credit cards and also preparing adequate Japanese yen.


Is chip required?

Basically, there is no custom of chip in Japan. Although it seems guide books often say that chips are required at ryokan, you do not have to pay chip also at ryokan. In addition, your treatment does not change depend on you pay chip or not. So please take it easy.

As there are many Japanese original manners, rules, and etiquette at ryokan, Japanese-style room, Washoku, and onsen, it is hard to learn and follow everything. At our Kashiwaya ryokan, all the staff tries to welcome you with warm hospitality. So do not think that ryokan is hard to use, but please feel free to visit.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >