Once you’ve visited all the karaoke bars in the Shibuya district, have eaten authentic sushi and watched the cherry blossoms burst into bloom, you might want to recover from your exertions during the (imaginary) tour de Japan. Onsen, Japanese hot termal baths are just what you need! The meaning of the word itself covers the hot springs themselves and the bathing facilities situated around the springs, including traditional inns. You can find about 3000 onsen throughout Japan, ranging from small, rustic bed-and-breakfast inns to big onsen hotels.

Some baths are run by the municipiality and some are run privately, mostly belonging to hotels and traditonal inns (ryokans). The relaxing and refreshing qualities of the onsen are a major attraction to couples and families; these springs also have health-prmotoing effects due to the various minerals present in the hot water. We can differentiate between outdoor (roten-buro) and indoor (noten-buro) onsen and choose the type that suits us the best, from quiet and intimate baths to spas with background music, fountains and artifical waterfalls (the latter category might be more appealing if we travel with kids). It is accepted to have quiet conversations in the onsen; however, splashing and noisy behaviour is not allowed (but is tolerated from children to some extent).

It is traditionally not acceptable to wear swimsuits to onsen. Men usually cover their most precious organs with a small towel when walking up to the spring, while women wrap themselves in full-size towels. Onsen have been „mixed” baths for centuries, meaning that men and women bathed together. The opening of Japan to the West changed this scene: sexes bathe separately now, but we can still find mixed bathing at some rural onsen. Just like in any spa, guests are required to have a shower and rinse themselves thoroughly before entering the hot spring; it is socially unacceptable to dip in while still dirty, or with traces of soap on our body.

There is also some bad news for people wearing tattoos: around half of the onsen ban bathers with tattoos. The reason behind this ban is that they don’t want members of any crime gangs to hang around in the springs; traditionally, Yakuza (Japanese maffia) members wear intricate tattoos.

Even if we can’t try a real Japanese onsen right now, there are plenty of termal spas in Hungary, too!  Also, if we feel like having fabulous Japanese food, we can always book a table in Sushi Sei , where superb food is made and served with the highest of expertise and in beautiful surroundings. Sushi Sei is also the best choice for family gatherings, incentives or business meetings as well! If you feel like having your meal at home, order online: we deliver!