While centuries ago Americans were studying the possibility of accepting the mixed bath in the sea. The Japanese long ago had a tradition of bathing together in a thermal spring called onsen. People of all ages, women and men without their clothes, bathed regardless of nudity in a controversial place called mixed onsen.
The Japanese never went to repair the nudity of others while enjoying the delicious waters of a thermal spring. Even if he had a pervert in the place, he couldn’t stare too hard at a woman’s body covered in water, nor could he touch her because of the large number of people present at the onsen site.
The mixed baths are called konyokuburo (混浴風呂) and are more organized than you think. Nowadays thermal baths are already full of rules, imagine the mixed ones? Women who visit a mixed onsen today usually cover themselves with a towel to avoid perverted eyes.
What happened to the mixed bath onsen?
Dirty cases have always happened, especially when few people were present at onsen. Little by little the rules ended up being broken and more bad people went to the places. It was with the influence of the West that the Japanese ended up forbidding the creation of mixed baths.
It was after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 that the Japanese authorities began to gradually put an end to the large number of mixed onsen that existed in Japan. All this to present a good image before Westerners who saw Japan as an indecent and immoral place. Several criticisms were raised by foreign historians.
The history of westerners and the ban on mixed bathing in Japan is long. The great discussion ended with Japan forbidding the emergence of new mixed onsen. The existing ones ended up separating the baths by sex, those who wanted to keep the tradition ended up not lasting long because of the bathers’ behavior.
Are there still mixed baths in Japan?
There are still places that allow couples to bathe in a private onsen. There are also public baths that allow both sex in swimwear. The traditional mixed onsen that allow bathing without clothing, end up asking women to wear a towel and everyone present to behave on the spot.
The existence of mixed onsen in Japan is somewhat complicated, because if something happens on the spot the responsibility falls on the owner. For this and other reasons, the traditional mixed baths end up ceasing to exist more and more.
Fortunately some rural areas and mountains allow locals to enjoy the traditional mixed bath in the baths. Some of these places are natural and do not usually charge access to avoid problems with the law. Most of the Japanese who attend these secret mixed baths are senior citizens.
Mixed baths in Japan are actually in remote locations. Few foreigners usually access these places. Besides men and women, monkeys and deer can bathe with you in the mountains.
If you want to find a mixed bath, we recommend going to secret-japan.com. On the site you will find the name, location and details of the mixed onsen. There are about 82 mixed baths on the list. You should search for details about it to know if they allow foreigners to enter or if the bath is without clothes.
Some Onsen that allow Mixed Bathing
We recommend consulting the locations in the list by the site or other means of research. Some may have certain restrictions, or are private or are mixed onsen with clothes.
- Amagiso (Shizuoka);
- Awanoyu (Nagano);
- Fujiyoshi (Shizuoka);
- Kurogane Onsen (Yamanashi);
- Lamp no Yado (Ishikawa);
- Oyadani no Yu (Ishikawa);
- Tsubame Onsen (Niigata);
- Yarimikan (Gifu);
- Aidomari Onsen (Hokkaido);
- Hot Spring Lodge Daiichi (Hokkaido);
- Fukiage Onsen Recreation Facility Shirogane (Hokkaido);
- Kotan Onsen (Hokkaido);
- Mizunashi-Kaihin Onsen (Hokkaido);
- Shikaribetsu Gorge Shikanoyu (Hokkaido);
- Iwaobetsu Onsen (Hokkaido);
- Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen (Kagoshima);
- Myoken Ishiharaso (Kagoshima);
- Hozantei (Kumamoto);
- Oku no Yu (Kumamoto);
- Hage no Yu (Kumamoto);
- Fukumotoya Kabeyu (Oita);
- Hoyo Land (Oita);
- Beppu Beach Sandbath (Oita);
- Aoni Onsen (Aomori);
- Numajiri Onsen (Fukushima);
- Sukayu (Aomori);
- Tae no Yu (Akita);
- Todoroki Ryokan (Miyagi);
- Saiunsou (Iwate);
- Tsuru no Yu (Akita);
- Ubayu Onsen (Yamagata);
- Arima Grand Hotel (Kobe);
- Hotel Kitanoya (Kyoto);
- Kaisyu (Wakayama);
- Kawayu Onsen (Wakayama);
- Hotel Kazurabashi (Tokushima);
- Iya Onsen Hotel (Tokushima);
- Kamitoku Onsen (Ehime);
- Onsen Yurara (Ehime);
- Seapa Makoto (Ehime);
- Kikunoya (Shiga);
- Rurikei Onsen (Kyoto);
- Ryujin Onsen (Wakayama);
- Spa World (Osaka);
- Tsuboyu Onsen (Wakayama);
- Asuka no Yu (Ehime);
- Hoshi no Oka Onsen (Ehime);
- Yumoto Yachio (Kagawa);
- Semi Onsen (Iwate);
- Akashiya (Tottori);
- Chorakuen (Shimane);
- Megahira Hot Spring (Hiroshima);
- Misasa Onsen Ryokan (Tottori);
- Togo Yu-asis Ryuhokaku (Tottori);
- Yubara Onsen Sunayu (Okayama);
- Yunogou Bishunkaku Onsen (Okayama);
You who live in Japan, have you ever tried to go in a mixed bath? What was your experience? We appreciate your comments and sharing. We recommend reading as well: