Fudo no Yu was a community bath, meaning anyone was free to use it, and until last year it was left unsupervised. It was also one of a dwindling number of onsen in the Kanto region that allow traditional mixed bathing, known in Japanese as konyoku. Although Fudo no Yu ended up reopening a couple of months later, any opportunity for licentiousness has been strictly curtailed. The problems seen in Shiobara fit in with a wider trend that has seen a precipitous decline in the number of konyoku around Japan. In , the inaugural issue of Onsen Hihyo Hot-spring Critique dedicated its cover feature to the plight of mixed bathing. There are no official statistics on the number of mixed baths in Japan, so Ninomiya turned to Keita Oguro, a veteran onsen photographer with an encyclopedic knowledge of konyoku. When Oguro first totted up all such onsen 23 years ago, the total came to more than 1, By , that figure had fallen to less than There are fewer than now.
A brief history
2. They May Not Let You in With Tattoos
Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you! Do males have to be naked in mixed onsens? I heard you have to go naked in the mixed onsen if you're male, is this true? Thank you, Jack by Jack guest. Re: Do males have to be naked in mixed onsens?
TOKYO (4 a.m.)
Getting hot and steamy is deeply rooted in the Japanese culture, and public baths are still as popular as ever. Although you can find them indoors, most of them are outdoors where you can be at one with nature. All public baths have specific rules that you have follow, some of which may surprise you. Nobody is allowed to wear clothes in the Japanese baths— not even an itsy bitsy bikini. Embrace it! And in case you were wondering as we were Japanese women like to keep their downstairs au natural as well. Japan is well known for its attention to cleanliness and the baths are no exception. They were only legalised in and were used to brand outlaws as punishment. Because of this history and association, a lot of baths do not allow you to enter if you have a tattoo. A word of caution: people with tattoos may also find it hard getting a gym membership, or even some jobs in Japan, as there are companies that ban their staff from having tattoos.
A mural fills a wall at Mikoku-yu onsen, or hot spring bath, in Sumida ward, Tokyo. Sento are bathhouses that use regular water while onsen use natural hot spring water. Japan is proud of its bathing traditions. These are washing stations in the Mitake-yu sento, or public bath, in Minami Urawa, Saitama prefecture, Japan.