Bathing Wear for Mixed-Use Hot Springs on Rise in Japan

Society Culture

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--Hot springs around Japan are increasingly adopting special bathing wear to preserve the declining tradition of mixed bathing.

But it is unclear whether the practice will be widely adopted, as some facilities say bathing wear results in the loss of a "sense of openness."

Sukayu Onsen hot spring in the city of Aomori, northeastern Japan, introduced bathing wear for people using baths open to both men and women in January, as part of a trial conducted by the Environment Ministry. Many men and women enjoyed chatting as they relaxed in the mixed baths.

"I can use the bath without hesitation if both sexes wear bathing wear," said a 54-year-old woman from the western city of Osaka, who came to the hot spring with her husband.

"It will result in a decrease of people with perverse motives," said Masahiro Kimura, manager of the hot spring. He added that the facility will consider making bathing wear mandatory in the future.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press