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Getting naked??


14 May 2003
Hehe thought that title would get your attention.

I am talking about onsens. How do those of you who live in Japan feel about getting naked in front of others?

I'm pretty lucky that they have "family onsens" here in Kagoshima, so I go there regularly with my hubby.

But today I went to a beautiful "lotten" - outside onsen! I had no problems stripping off the first time I went because the location is sooo secluded. I thought not many people knew about this place. It feels really nice to be naked in such a beautiful setting.
Actually, I found out. It's prevalent.
Today I went in a pair of my husbands' boxers and a bra as there was one other man there. But I felt foolish. After a while, I felt brave enough to go bra-less.😊

It's so beautiful there, so I'm definitely going back, I have to work up the courage to show perfect strangers my naked body hehe.....

How do you feel about onsens?
Yeah, I felt more than a little awkward the first couple times. Somehow the public onsens with total strangers didn't bother me half as much as when I was with say a group of co-workers or people I knew. Ultimately, I learned to get over my own feelings of awkwardness and the occasional "Hey look! there's a nekkid gaijin in here!" gawker because they were ruining my relaxation experience.
Personally I found the onsens wonderful but still a little awkward especially when with people i knew. Then theres the little thing of having lovely grandmas point stare and laugh but hey its still mighty relaxing
Well I had my first onsen experience this spring in Izu, it was absolutley amazing once I'd got over the initial embarrassment. The most weird thing was that I wasn't embarrased about being naked, more the fact that this older Japanese guy (who looked like he spent all his days in the sun) was speaking in macho Japanese to me (who looks like a pasty white office boy) and had absolutely no clue what he was saying.
I don't think twice about it these days. The first few times I was a little self-conscious. I'm sure I'd be a lot more self-conscious if i were in a konyoku (mixed gender) onsen like what you're talking about it.

If you want us to help desensitize you, you can send all of us pictures of your naked body. ;)
I don't know if I could do it. I would love to soak in an onsen, but I have heard some horror stories from foreign women who say that people tried to photograph them and such. I believe I would have to find a nice, secluded one to go to before I go into one with lots of other people.

This brings me to the Japanese and their feelings toward nudity. It's perfectly fine to shed your clothes and get in an onsen in front of people you don't know, but to walk around in your own house nude is embarassing? For me, I think nothing of doing that sort of thing, but for most of the ones I know, they wouldn't get further than the bathroom door naked(well, you know what I mean). I know that the feeling they have is that you're meant to be naked in the bath, but not really meant to be so outside of the bath, but still...it's a strange way of thinking. It's always been a point of interest to me, I guess.
> I have heard some horror stories from foreign women who say that people tried to photograph them

This is highly unlikely to happen while in the bath. I mean, people don't bring valuables or cameras into the bath. Sounds suspiciously like urban legend to me. Or it may have happened to one person out of 10,000 or something like that.

> to walk around in your own house nude is embarassing

My spouse has no problem with this -- at least around the bedroom where there is no chance of being seen through a window.
Ummm. I was raised in a pretty relaxed household, so I didn't have any problem with it from the get go, whether normal onsen or mixed onsen. I was more concerned about not doing something inappropriate than being naked...

Actually, in mixed onsens, most women wear a towel wrapped around their bodies while in the tub, while some men cover their privates with a hand towel. Of course older and/or less inhibited people still walk around and soak in the buff... There's nothing like a good soak in a onsen, naked... Kashikiriburo (private baths) are the best if you're with your significant other...

I agree with mdchachi, getting photographed in onsens is highly unlikely and in sento (public bathhouses) quite impossible as it's forbidden. I sure wouldn't want to damage my cell phone or digital camera with the high humidity of an onsen...
Thanks tasuki for the tip about the towel! 🙂

Can you actually go IN the onsen with the towel? I felt soooo stupid in my bra and boxers.... luckily there was only one other man there - who only used the hand towel while walking around, not in the onsen. Poor guy - seemed more embarassed than me to meet a gaijin and left quite early.

Next time I go, I want to do what a Japanese girl would do - either go naked or wear a towel..........
(and bring PLENTY of bug spray)

In the meantime, I will continue to go to our private family onsens - only 400Y per hour!!!
Yes, they do. I've heard confliciting opinions about how men should or shouldn't dip their wash towel (hand towel) in the actual onsen once they get in, but I've seen enough men getting in the bath with their privates covered to think that it's not a complete no-no. As far as women are concerned, well being a man... but you do see women do that in television shows involving onsen. So do men, now that I think of it. So it's probably not completely "forbidden". I've even heard of women going to konyoku onsen in their bathing suits...
in my onsen 'initiation' i was told not to dip the small towel into the water (because that's the towel you've just used to wash yourself prior to dipping). But this was some swanky outdoor thing - I have no idea about the regular public baths. Certainly I didn't see anyone do it in the onsens I went in.

I think the rumours about being photographed come from these outside baths rather than the covered inside ones (i.e people can take photos from above).

Regarding nudity - I find that weird too about the embarrassment in non-onsen situations...
Hubby says yep, you shouldn't dip your towel in the onsen - especially in inside public ones.

He says I can do whatever I like at the lotten - togs, towel whatever......... but I don't want to look like a baka gaijin.... and yet it's difficult for me to totally strip off. Maybe a skin coloured G? ha ha....😊

The lotten is in the bush looking over a river. There is possibly someone living on the other side of the river because there is a bridge. I can't see anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if some kinky man was filming ...... I might be all over the internet by now hehe.....
What's a lotten? Do you mean rotenburo--an outdoor bath at an onsen? If so, rotenburo etiquette is the same as for the indoor baths, although you can walk around covered if you want when your moving to and fro from bath to bath, just as you would indoors.

If I may make just one observation about nudity, unless women are completely different from men in that respect, I don't think people pay that much extra attention to foreigners in onsen (naked or not--actually, you're more likely to draw attention to yourself it you don't strip...). People are there to enjoy themselves and relax... Everybody's in the buff, so one more body doesn't make that much difference... Think of it as dancing at a club. Even though the first time around you're pretty self-conscious, you soon realize that the other people are too wrapped up in their own dancing to care much about yours or you about theirs... The person who doesn't dance but is still on he dance floor is the one who stands out...
yep, lotten (or rotten - but that sounds bad heh) is rotenburo.... sometimes we just shorten it.

I know that you stand out if you don't strip that's why I'm working up the courage to do that next time. I was just wondering how other people dealt with it - especially women, but I don't think there are many on the forum who live in Japan.

this rotenburo is in the bush, next to a river and near to a beautiful waterfall (inukai no taki). It's really secluded. I can't wait to go in winter at night.... drinking sake......😄
Careful not to drink too much, it can really go to your head since the water's so hot... :gulp:

Anyway, there are tons of foreign women living in Japan, just not that many on this forum. If you want, drop me a PM and I'll give you the address of another forum where a whole bunch of foreigners living in Japan hang out (actually, you may already be aware of it...)
Me and my wife are looking for a mix onsens around Hiratsuka, because we would like at least to be together when w ego, is anyone of you knows one
i have been

i have been to an onsen once. i would of went more but i was busy and tired a lot. i live in hirakatashi, and it was okay. i was looked at a lot but i expected that, people admired my body. i got "sogoii and kakkoii" i was used to it. i went with an african friend and it was okay. i play football so i used to showering and being nude in front of others. But it was so relaxing. but i want to go to a mixed one. i think it would be totemo omoshiroi.
I have heard that some onsens don't allow gajins, is this true? If so which are the main ones that have this policy?
That's mostly a thing of the past. I've been to numerous onsen and sentou during my time here and I've never been refused entrance once (and I went to some pretty far flung onsen...). That's one outdated misconception that still gets printed in travel books and online (although I'm not saying it NEVER happens)...
> I have heard that some onsens don't allow gajins, is this true? If so which are the main ones that have this policy?

True but very rare. Usually you'll find such policies in places where they have had problems with misbehaving foreigners at one time or other (such as the port cities in Hokkaido where Russian sailors are to be found). I have had countless onsen/sento experiences and have been around all of Japan and have never been turned away.
i know some onsens dont allow tattoos, i know Spa world in Osaka doesnt. you have to cover it up or you are not allowed. I dont know the reason but that is their policy.
I have been in a mixed rotenburo with some other friends and some old guys tried to have their photos taken with us. We told them that it was not approprate and that they were bothering us. "jama-shimasu ga....." with a dirty look on your face.

I love Onsens and try to go as often as possible to try out many different places.

When I know there is mixed bathing, I always take a sarong which lets you move about between baths with some modesty but allows you the full naked bathing experience underwater as the sarong floats on top.
When I know there is mixed bathing, I always take a sarong which lets you move about between baths with some modesty but allows you the full naked bathing experience underwater as the sarong floats on top.

and you don't feel silly being the only one wearing something in the onsen?
I've also heard it's rude to put anything in the water - eg towel etc.
Next time I go, perhaps I will wear a towel / sarong as I move around, but peel off as I get in the onsen. The last thing I want to be is a baka gaijin, but........ coming from NZ and English parents, stripping off in front of others is not something I'm used to.... but, I suppose after a few times it will be not such a big thing.

Thanks Enfour for your post, it's nice to hear the experiences of another female 🙂
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