Ofuro (bath)

Bathing in Japan is almost ritualistic. The tradition seems to be almost the same, no matter where I go:

  • Bathing always takes place in the evening, often after work and before dinner.
  • Bathing often includes taking an actual bath, not just a shower.
  • The baths are typically narrower and much deeper than those in the west, so you can sit and be fully submerged in water.
  • The bath water is usually shared by family members. The bath is filled with hot water and people take turns sitting in it after they are done showering. I was pretty thrown off and confused when I was invited to do the same thing…
  • The entire “bathroom” is meant to be used as a shower, so there is a drain for the entire room.
  • There is usually a small stool in front of the shower and people often wash themselves while sitting down.
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