What’s an Onsen experience like?

 

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Later on from having KFC, we headed to Odaiba Onsen Monogatari. It’s famous for having a fun fair section in the Odaiba area near Tokyo Bay. Onsen is a natural hot spring traditionally used as public bathing places in the past and today play a central role in Japanese domestic tourism.

 

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In this particular onsen, visitors can experience 13 varieties of baths including indoor baths, sauna and steam room. In addition, everyone from children to adults can spend the day strolling about in casual yukata robes through the Hirokoji and Happakuyacho shopping arcades that recreate the vibrant bustle of the Shitamachi (downtown) section of old Edo.

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The price of this Odaiba Onsen is ¥2040 and to most of my Japanese friends, it’s expensive. This is just from not playing games at the amusement park, buying food or getting a massage. A cheaper Onsen is called a sento which is just one bath and cost around ¥1000 but I have yet to investigate where my nearest one is.

To get there from Monzen-nakacho you can take the 海01 bus straight there and it’ll cost 210 yen (one way so bring 420 yen) and you cannot use your Suica/Passmo/Icoca card. Another way is to take the Tokyo Bay Shuttle bus. For more information on buses in Tokyo, please check here.

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You put your shoes in an available locker and take the key. When you go to the counter, tell them how many people and you each get a bracelet which calculates how much you have to pay at the end when you return it. Then the next area provides you with a yukata to change into, you get to choose from nine designs but if some are unavailable, see the big sticker in front of the design. In yukata, you strip to your underwear.


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 If you want to go onsen, that’s when you have to be naked. You get a yellow towel for your head while washing (never assume it’s a flannel for your body) and a white towel for your body and when washing before and afterwards going into the onsen.

You have to go in naked but there is no reason to be embarrassed. The hot springs are separated by gender. Please be aware if you have tattoos, you cannot go onsen. You can try and hide it but I doubt in a strict country like Japan, you can get away with that.

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If you can’t go onsen but still want to accompany your friends, you can always not go to onsen and enjoy a day playing games in the amusement section, get a massage and get a foot bath (for free). It is worth going to onsen for the experience and you will feel so refreshed and clean after going.

 

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2 Comments

    1. Hey, I’m actually going to find out where an onsen for people with tattoos exists and try and do a post about it or even get back to you because it’s refreshing to go to.

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