Sometimes, you come across the photo that beautiful young lady is bathing at hot spring bathtub in brochures or commercial TV scenes for Japanese inns. She usually put a large bath towel wrap around her beautiful body. You must not do this way when you enjoy bathing at onsen, even a quite many young Japanese ladies tried. They are just learned from TV commercials or variety shows and believed this is authentic manner in onsen.
We never use bath towel in a bathtub. A manner at onsen or public style bath may differ from that in other countries.
First of all, you take your all clothes off and put them in a bamboo basket in a dressing room. If locker is available put them into it and be sure to lock it properly. Valuable things must be kept in a safety box at the front office if looker is not available. You may bring only a face towel into bathtub area.
Secondly, rinse your whole body off with hot water taking from a small bathtub called “kakeyu” with a washbowl at the washing area before you get into the bathtub. Surprisingly, you may not wash your body in a bathtub; it is only for soaking in this country.
Thirdly, you get into the bathtub and soak. Temperature of hot spring is usually about 40 degree centigrade in most onsen. Less than 30 minutes soaking is recommended, otherwise you will lose your consciousness in a bathtub.
Get out the bathtub and wash thoroughly at the washing area. You may use soap and shampoo only at the washing area.
Return to the bathtub again and soak until you are warm. Finally, you may dry off completely before leaving the washing area.
Although, you really like to enjoy onsen bathing, try not taking more than three times a day.