The Amayori Sento — Bathing Rituals


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How to Travel When You Can’t Leave Home

IIya Vally, Japan I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to “travel” while staying safe at home. The first step is to pick a country that you would like to visit, and then follow the tips below. I’ve chosen Japan as I miss it greatly and am longing for my next trip. Travel Through Food: I tend to cook a quasi-macrobiotic/Japanese menu most nights, but when I want to make it extra-special, I try a few dishes that are a bit more traditional. For a special night, I may make pickles early that day to serve in the evening, and I make miso soup with traditional dashi stock, rice, fish, and a couple of side dishes. I also...

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A Peek Inside a Japanese Bathhouse

Walk into any bathhouse in Japan, and you are sure to find the same basic things, whether you are bathing at a Tokyo sento or a remote rural onsen.  Men’s and women’s baths are almost always separated. Each side is separated by a door or a noren curtain. When you first walk in, there are lockers or baskets so that you may stow your personal belongings. Since bathing is always done in the nude, you will also need to store your clothing or yukata (a cotton kimono often worn around Japan’s hot spring towns). This storage area is usually separate from the washing area. Next is the washing area. In Japan, washing is always done before soaking and is considered...

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A Calm Home: Winding Down in the Evening

As time goes on, I begin to appreciate my evening rituals more and more. My evening bath has now become part of my husband's life, and I wanted to share with you some thoughts on creating an end-of-day ritual for you and your family. I love this way to wind down together, yet individually. I believe that a household should be on the same wavelength, and when everyone winds down in the evening, it creates a beautiful, harmonious environment. In Japan, the evening bath is so much more than we can experience without giving it some thought. In a Japanese home, the bath is seen as a way to renew the soul. It is a deep, embedded understanding that when...

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How to Have a Mindful Holiday Season

Things have been so busy around the Amayori loft. I wanted to take a moment to say hello, as this will probably be the last journal entry of the year. I have always been someone who easily becomes overwhelmed, especially when it is work-related. I feel that so much in my life has changed and I have grown so much in the past year that getting frazzled, eating poorly, and eventually burning out as I normally would during the busy holiday season no longer serves me. With a bit of planning and commitment, I am planning for this to be the most enlightened holiday season yet.  Here are a few ways I am staying centered and grounded this season. These...

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Two Ways to use the Aromatic Body Wash

The Aromatic Body Wash is more than a skin cleanser—it is a mood-shifting skin nurturer. Based on the Japanese ritual of showering before taking a bath, there are two ways to use the Aromatic Body Wash that will turn your shower into a beautiful experience for the skin and soul. As a Massage-Based Wash: At Japanese onsen (hot springs) or sento (public baths), there are washing stations set up with body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Upon entering the washing area, you find your spot and bring a washing bucket and a bench over to it. One of the things I have noticed when bathing in Japan is the amount of time women spend on the washing phase of their ritual. In...

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