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Japanese bath house etiquette

edited October 2011 in - Japan
What's it like in a Japanese bath house or spa? Does everyone walk around naked? Do men and women bathe together? I've heard that you aren't allowed in the bath houses if you have a tattoo. Is that true? What are the best bath houses or spas in Tokyo?


  • I love Japanese onsen. I go there all the time. 
    Yes, you're not allowed in with a tattoo. Japan associated tattoos with the mafia - so you're not allowed in. If you cover your tattoo with a band aid you (should) be fine. 
    Also, yes, everyone is naked. It takes some getting used to. 

    I think one of the best guides for foreigners using onsen is:

    Also, I heard you can't go to an onsen on your period... (if you're a girl) 
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