8 Tips for an Elevated Onsen Bathing Experience

The recently opened Ritz-Carlton, Nikko provides its clients with these top tips for how they can make the most out of their onsen baths.

Courtesy Of The Ritz Carlton, Nikko
Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Nikko

The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko in Tochigi, Japan, recently opened with a hot springs experience, drawing its source from the Oku-Nikko Yumoto Onsen. Onsen, the Japanese word for hot spring, is a revered wellness practice that encourages relaxation, strengthens the mind, promotes mindfulness and yields positive energy.

The Spa's onsen is a simple sulfur spring, with a temperature of 173.4°F and a high metasilicic acid content, which promotes skin metabolism and overall radiance. To help clients make the most of their bathing experience, therapists offer these eight tips for enjoying the onsen.

  1. Anticipate: Enter the hot springs and slip under the noren curtain, the portal to blissful bathing.
  2. Prepare: Leave shoes or slippers at the entrance. Bring only a hand towel into the onsen.
  3. Purify: Douse arms and legs with kakeyu hot water to acclimate, then cleanse the body at the washing area.
  4. Listen: Indulge the senses. Enjoy the trickling, dripping and swirling sounds of the healing waters.
  5. Breathe: The distinctive scent of a sulfur bath may take getting used to, but it's all part of the restorative magic.
  6. Unwind: Ease into tranquility as the sounds, scents and warmth of the water work their healing ways.
  7. Behold: Be alone with the elements, and observe how the garden moss and stones take on new beauty.
  8. Rest: After a soak, wrap up to ensure the body does not get chilled. Rest for 30 minutes.

More in Therapies