While centuries ago Americans were studying the possibility of accepting mixed bathing in the sea. The Japanese have long had a tradition of bathing together in a hot spring called onsen. People of all ages, women and men without their clothes, showered regardless of the nudity in a controversial place called the mixed onsen.
The Japanese have never been one to notice the nudity of others while they are enjoying the delicious waters of a hot spring. Even if there was a pervert in the place, he couldn't stare too long at a woman's body covered in water, nor could he touch her because of the large amount of people present at the onsen site.
Mixed baths are called konyokuburo (混浴風呂) and are more organized than you might think. Currently the thermal baths are already full of rules, imagine the mixed ones? Women who visit a modern-day mixed onsen usually cover themselves with a towel to avoid perverted eyes.
What happened to the mixed bath in onsen?
Indecent cases always happened, especially when few people were present at the onsen. Gradually the rules ended up being broken and more bad people frequented the places. It was with the influence of the West that the Japanese ended up banning the creation of mixed baths.
It was after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 that the Japanese authorities began to gradually eliminate the large amount of mixed onsen that existed in Japan. All this to present a good image to 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 baths in Japan is a long one. The big argument ended with Japan banning 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 behavior of the bathers.
Is there still mixed bathing in Japan?
There are still places that allow couples to bathe in a private onsen. There are also public baths that allow both sexes with bathing suits. Traditional mixed onsen that allow the bath without clothes, end up requesting that the women use a towel and that everyone present behaves on the spot.
The existence of mixed onsen in Japan is something complicated, because if something happens in the place, 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 local residents to approve the traditional mixed bath in the hot springs. Some of these places are natural and do not usually charge for access to avoid problems with the law. Most of the Japanese who frequent these secret mixed baths are senior citizens.
The mixed baths in Japan are actually in remote locations. Few foreigners usually access these places. In addition to men and women, monkeys and deer can bathe with you on the mountain.
If you want to find a mixed bath, we recommend accessing the website secret-japan.com. On the website you will find the name, location and details of the mixed onsen. There are around 82 mixed baths on the list. You should research details about it to know if it allows the entry of foreigners or if the bath is without clothes.
Some Onsen that allow Mixed Bathing
We recommend looking at the locations listed via the website or other search engines. It could be that some have certain restrictions, or are private or mixed onsen with clothing. We also recommend 7 onsen to visit in Japan.
- 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);
- Shikaribatsu 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);
- Kitanoya Hotel (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 the comments and shares. We also recommend reading: