How to Cleanse Yourself and Take a Japanese Style Bath at Home

Collage of Japanese bathing products and women enjoying the ritual of bathing at home

You can make the essential elements of the Japanese bathing ritual a part of your daily routine, even if you do not have a Japanese-style bath at home. All you need is a place to wash your body and a warm, clear tub of water.

Traditional Japanese bathing is a tranquil ritual perfected through centuries, typically taken in the evening. For the Japanese, bathtubs are for soaking and relaxing only and are always kept clean. Washing and scrubbing belong outside the tub, before you take a bath.

Cleansing Before the Bath

The concept of purity is deeply embedded in Japanese culture, and cleansing your body before you enter the bath is a crucial part of the process. While bathing relaxes your mind, body scrubbing purifies your body, leaving your skin feeling revitalized and refreshed.

To experience the essence of Japanese bathing practices, start your journey with traditional products crafted for washing and cleansing your body:

❤ Traditional Japanese Washcloth: This "uneven-weave" washcloth is made from unbleached and undyed cotton. Its textured surface is perfect for gently exfoliating your skin and removing dirt and dead skin cells using little or no soap.

❤ Lady Aoi Kimono Silk Body and Face Sponge: Luxurious sponge made from genuine kimono silk. It effectively cleans and buffs the skin throughout your body, promoting a healthy glow and radiance and works wonders on rougher skin areas, such as elbows, knees, and heels.

❤ Okinawan Summer Soap: This unique soap is infused with evening primrose oil and extract of gettô (pink porcelain lily) leaves, commonly called the Okinawan elixir of longevity. Its creamy, luxurious lather cleanses gently, leaving skin soft and moisturized.

❤ Artemisia Princeps Beautifying Yomogi Soap: This soap is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. It conditions the skin, alleviates dryness and itchiness and helps clear blemishes, darkened pores, and age spots.

❤ Fine Charcoal Clarifying Soap: Enriched with activated charcoal, this soap absorbs impurities and toxins from your skin, giving you a deep cleanse.

❤ Hinoki Cypress Soap: Known for its relaxing and deodorizing properties, the Hinoki Cypress soap leaves a subtle, fresh scent on your skin.

❤ Rice Bran Soap: With high levels of antioxidants and fatty acids, this soap gently tones and brightens your skin, leaving it supple and radiant.

❤ Hinoki Cypress Soap Dish: Don't forget to store your soaps properly! Our Hinoki Cypress soap dish is aesthetically pleasing and practical—it drains excess water, allowing the soap to dry properly and last longer.

Once thoroughly cleansed and rinsed, you can proceed to the warm bath, ready to enjoy the relaxation and tranquility that follows.

How to Take a Bath

Japanese woman  taking an herbal bath at home

  1. Fill up your bathtub to about 2/3 full ahead of time to step right into your tub after washing and scrubbing. Most prefer a comfortable temperature, not to exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Water that is too hot opes pores unnecessarily and causes moisture loss.
  2. You can add a soothing herbal infusion, such as green tea or other herbs, to your bath.
  3. Rinse or wash your body outside the tub.
  4. Step slowly in your tub, feel the water envelope your skin, and relax. Slowly splash some on your neck and shoulders. Listen to the sounds and feel the tiny streams run their way down.
  5. If you take an herbal bath, breathe in the aroma calmly and deeply. Unwind and live in the moment.
  6. You do not need to spend a lot of time in the bathtub. Even five minutes will do! 
  7. Pat dry with a soft towel and drink a cup of water to rehydrate yourself. 
  8. Moisturizing after bathing is essential for keeping your skin replenished and supple.

After Bathing

woman slipping foot into a slipper

The Japanese bathing ritual does not end after you dry yourself, and you can, and indeed should, continue to deepen your relaxation after bathing—the Japanese call it yu-agari (湯上がり, after bathing).

Put on some comfortable clothes and relax in any way you please. Have something to eat, browse, curl up with a book, listen to music, sip tea, take a nap, or do nothing.

It's your serenity time. Treasure it. The world can wait.

Japanese woman relaxing in bathtub at home