Onsen Images 15 images Created 18 Dec 2008
Vapour wafts around you as you carefully rinse with the cedar bucket before your bath. Silently, you slowly ease yourself into the hot mineral water. A garden has been artfully arranged around the edge of the bath for admiring while you soak. You are at a Japanese hot spring, or onsen as they are known in Japan. The onsen is one place in Japan where all kinds of people, young and old, wealthy and modest can mix without social barriers. This gives the foreign visitor an opportunity to mingle with the locals and learn something of Japan. Some foreign guests may feel intimidated by the prospect of bathing naked with strangers. However, a tiny towel is part of the onsen kit used for modesty, scrubbing and drying yourself.