A word to the wise: Hot-spring etiquette
Every day numerous people come to soak in Yamanouchi’s geothermal hot-spring baths. Let’s all bear in mind a few points of etiquette, so that everyone can enjoy a relaxing dip in clean hot-spring waters.
1. Before you enter the bathtub, wash your whole body by pouring hot water over yourself outside the tub.
Be sure to clean the sweat and dirt from your body before you enter the spa bath. Pouring hot water over yourself outside the tub also helps you to accustom yourself to the minerals and temperature of the hot-spring waters before you enter.
2. When you enter the bath, do so quietly.
A hot-spring bath is not a swimming pool. Don’t engage in any activities that may annoy other bathers.
3. When you leave a hot-spring bath or footbath, don’t pull the plug.
Occasionally one hears of foreign visitors who pull the plug to drain the water after a bath, as you would at home. If you pull the plug, someone else has to fill the bath all the way up again, which takes time.
4. In the bathing area, sit down to wash your hair.
If you stand while you are washing your hair, you may spray water and shampoo on the people around you.
5. Don’t wash clothes in the bathtub.
The only things you can wash in a hot-spring spa are your hair and your body. To wash clothes, please find a laundromat.
6. If you want to take pictures, be sure to first ask the bath custodian and the other bathers for permission.
Nobody is happy to see a camera suddenly pointing at them while they’re taking a bath.
7. Before proceeding to the changing area, towel off thoroughly in the bathing area.
Entering the changing area without toweling off will result in wet floors in the changing area.
8. Depending on the spa, persons with tattoos may be refused entry.
If you have a tattoo, ask if it is OK to enter.