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Onsen questions

Thunder Bay, Canada
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Onsen questions

I been reading about the Japanese Onsens. I like to try one out.

Are all onsens and public baths segregated with men and women separate areas?

Are there any mixed onsens or the mixed ones only open for couples and families?

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Onsen questions

>>Are all onsens and public baths segregated with men and women separate areas?<<

Practically yes, other than those places with hot water which just springs up naturally and flows into a rock pond or river where people (mostly the local elderly who know these secret places, usually deep in the mountains) and perhaps wild animals as well go to.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Onsen questions

Most onsens are segregated but there are some that are open for mixed bathing - one website that has a database of onsens is

www.secret-japan.com/onsen

you can search for onsen by map or qualities such as view and size...they have links to onsen ryokan too.

The onsen that I have been to that have mixed bathing are Takaragawa and Kuroyu (Nyuto onsen).

Many onsen ryokans and hotels have 'family baths' that can be used privately, sometimes for free, sometimes for an additional charge.

I haven't been to that many public baths but all those I went to were segregated.

Edited: 17 September 2012, 16:01
Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Onsen questions

Yes, these "secrets" are called "hitou" (secret hot waters).

Aguascalientes...
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4. Re: Onsen questions

Is there any Hitou places near Hiroshima?

Also, would it be possible for me to take a picture inside an onsen, or, is it consider offensive? I mean, I would like to keep a picture as a souvenir at the onsen or onsens I am planning to visit.

TIA!

MM

Kootenays, British...
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5. Re: Onsen questions

It would be quite inappropriate to take a photo inside an onsen unless it happened to be deserted when you were there.

Aguascalientes...
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260 posts
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6. Re: Onsen questions

Thanks, Kootenays!

MM

Aoyama Dori and San...
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7. Re: Onsen questions

You can certainly take photos when it is unoccupied. It's usually easy if you go very early in the morning when they first open up. I would definitely not shoot pictures while someone is in there. If you try to be stealth you might be arrested and charged under the nuisance laws that are in place now which are targeting mostly hidden cams and candid shots.

Aguascalientes...
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8. Re: Onsen questions

Thank you, Route246!

MM

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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9. Re: Onsen questions

I have taken photos when nobody was in the onsen as well. As Route said, you are more likely to have the place to yourself early in the morning. Very late at night is also a possibility.

Aguascalientes...
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10. Re: Onsen questions

Thank you, Sammyfloyd!

MM