How to Take a Japanese Style Bath at Home

Soothe Body and Soul with Pure Water or an Herbal infusion

Japanese woman taking an herbal bath at home

The traditional Japanese bathing is a tranquil ritual perfected through centuries, typically taken in the evening.

For the Japanese, bathtubs are for soaking only and are always kept clean. Washing and scrubbing belong to outside the tub. The same goes for wash cloths and sponges.

You can make the essentials 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 place to wash your body and a tub of warm, clear water.

You can also add an herbal infusion, such as green tea or other herbs to your bath. Japanese herbal baths soothe body and mind and have healing, skin-beautifying properties.

  1. Wash your body thoroughly outside the bathtub.
  2. Soak in the warm tub, and relax.
  3. Pat dry with a soft towel and moisturize.
  4. Make yourself comfortable and deepen your relaxation.

View of a room with a woman soaking in a bathtubFill up your bathtub to about 2/3 full ahead of time so you can step right into your tub after washing and scrubbing.

It is essential not to make the water too hot. Most prefer a comfortable temperature, not to exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Water that is too hot opes pores unnecessarily and causes moisture loss.

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. If you are taking an herbal bath, breathe in the aroma calmly and deeply. Live in the moment, unwind and let your mind go.

You do not need to spend a lot of time in the bathtub. Ten to fifteen minutes is sufficient. Moisturizing after bathing is essential for keeping your skin replenished and supple. Have a cup of water to rehydrate yourself.

After Bathing

woman slipping foot into a slipper

The Japanese bathing ritual does not end in the tub. Japanese women (and men) continue to deepen their relaxation after bathing. They call this 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 at all.

This is your serenity time. Treasure it and let the world wait.