The Amayori Sento — Japanese Bathing Rituals


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Ashiyu: Effortless Relaxation from Japan's Hot Spring Towns

Ashiyu are foot baths that are found in some of Japan’s hot spring town. They are beloved for their lighthearted atmosphere, as they are an easy way to enjoy Japan’s mineral-rich waters with little effort. My last trip to Japan was in mid-spring. There was still a chill in the air, especially in the more remote areas that I ventured to. Toward the end of the trip, I began to feel under the weather. Though I wanted to get into the many nearby onsen (hot spring baths), I didn’t have the energy to undress and dress again. Ashiyu became a relaxing, healing alternative. The mental and physical benefits are many and mimic those of a full-body bath. The mental benefits...

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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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How to Take a Japanese Bath at Home (Part 1): Setting Up

Read our complete guide to the Japanese bath at home by clicking here. Japanese bathing isn’t just about its amazing skin and health benefits. Above all, it is about mindfulness, deep relaxation, and letting go of your cares of the day. One of the things that struck me most upon my first Japanese bath experience was the vibe. There is something magical about the water, the scent of hinoki cypress (a wood often used to make Japanese baths), the minimalism – all of these elements create a sensorial experience that allows one to connect with themselves on a level that they never thought possible. One of the most important parts of a relaxing bath is setting up beforehand. After doing...

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Japanese Bathing Wisdom for the Entire Family

In a traditional Japanese home, the bathwater is shared among family members. This practice perhaps comes from the Japanese tradition of the sento (public bathhouses) or bathing in public hot springs. Though unfamiliar to Westerners, the practice really does make perfect sense. Keep in mind that a shower precedes a Japanese-style bath One never enters the bath dirty regardless of whether at a public bath or home. Sharing bathwater is not only good for the environment, but also makes life easier for everyone involved. Imagine how well your family would sleep if everyone took a bath before bed. There is also something comforting about knowing that everyone has gone to bed calm and soothed. Interestingly, there is a bathing hierarchy...

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How to Take a Japanese Bath at Home (Part 2): The Ritual of the Bath

I have written before on how to set up for the Japanese bath at home, which outlines helpful first steps in creating the mood for a tranquil, meditative environment. This is such an important part in Japanese bathing and creating an experience as opposed to an everyday bath. To read that journal entry, please click here. Today I want to focus on the actual ritual of bathing. This is wisdom I learned along the way and continue to experience during my travels to Japan. Bathing in this manner can be a life-changing tool that can help you achieve a more calm, fulfilled, balanced life. Though I love the idea of bathing on a daily basis for relaxation, be realistic about...

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