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 this a few times you may find that your bathroom changes entirely. This isn’t so much of a long drawn out process as it is a few simple steps that will make your bathing ritual even more enjoyable and authentic.
Start with a Clean Bath: This can be done whenever you have extra time, perhaps while doing a face mask or while waiting for dinner to cook. That way, when you are ready to take a bath, you can just give it a quick rinse. Try keeping a pitcher and cleaning products in the bathroom under the sink that you can use to clean out the bath to make it effortless.
Minimalism: Tuck unneeded bottles under the sink or in a cabinet. Out of sight out of mind - no toothpaste tubes, shampoo, etc. The Japanese bath is about transporting yourself to a place of beauty. Get rid of anything that hints of mass commercialism. Tuck away knick knacks. Keep in mind the Japanese design aesthetic of “less is more”. Open space allows room for the imagination to take hold.
An Element of Nature: Add a few unpolished stones or a simple flower arrangement near the bath where you can see it. Many hot springs in Japan are located outdoors. If indoors, they will almost always offer a stunning view of nature.
Lighting: Light a candle for a better mood. I suggest going with something unscented so that you can enjoy the fragrance of your Amayori bath products without “fragrance interference”.
Water: Have a little bench or a bath tray where you can keep a few things. One of the things you always want to have on hand will be a large glass of water. This will help keep you cool, hydrated, and refresh you while you bathe.
Music: This is the only time that I think it’s OK to have any sort of electronics in the bathroom. Listen to Amayori’s music playlists while soaking. These playlists support each fragrance ritual and will immerse you deeper into your experience. Alternatively, listen to any music that relaxes you and takes you out of your day-to-day.
Add-Ons: Keep Aromatic Sake Mist close by and mist your shoulders for an instant refresh. You can also keep a pitcher of cool water and pour it over your shoulders if you begin to overheat. I also like to keep a bottle of face mist nearby – usually rosewater – and mist as needed.
With all that taken care of, now is the time to deeply relax and let go of your worries. Slip into the bath and let the water, fragrance, and music wash your cares away. Let every bid of stress dissipate while you let your imagination take hold. Whatever your journey- a rejuvenating open-air hot spring bath, an indoor hinoki cypress onsen bath... allow your soul to travel and experience the transformational magic of Japanese bathing rituals.
Warm wishes always,