Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Little ones and public bath houses 2009/3/15 13:38
Just a quick question...... Finally off to japan this week with the kiddies (BIG YEAH!!!). We are going to a couple of onsens and the hotel we are staying at has a Rotenburo. My youngest isnt toilet trained (he wont be 2 until the end of May). What is the ettiquite when taking non-toilet trained toddlers to public bathing facilities? What happens if he accidently opens his bowels in the bath or pees on the bath floor? I have never seen little japanese ones in the bath house so not sure if I should put him in a swimming nappy or not?
by Deaks  

... 2009/3/16 11:54
I advise against bringing that young children into the baths. Not only because of the toilet issue, but also because the bath water's possibly high temperature and strong minerals/acidity is probably not good for small children.

I have never seen children aged below around 5 in hot springs.
by Uji rate this post as useful

I agree with Uji 100% 2009/3/16 12:20
I've not yet been to a Japanese bath house or hot spring, but I do know that the water temperature is way too hot for small children/babies/toddlers. And some baths have special salts and things added to them which I think might be harmful as well (to little ones).

However, even if you feel the water for yourself and think it will be suitable enough, keep in mind that it would be really bad for your kid to have 'an accident' in the water. Japanese people have a very high standard of cleanliness and hygiene. They even have specially designated slippers to wear only in toilet areas to avoid 'those kind of substances' from traveling elsewhere. Imagine their reaction if someone (even a little baby) were to do that in or around their bathing water. Kinda nasty. I see that you mentioned a little swim suite type diaper? I don't know, I just don't see that flying either..

If you are visiting one of those foot bathing pools, I wonder if you can hold your child.

I do hope that you can find someone to watch your little one(s) while you bathe. And I wish you a wonderful time in Japan-- you must be so excited! =]
by GoLizzy (guest) rate this post as useful

I would agree.... 2009/3/16 13:19
Don't take kids under 3.5 to onsens. Too many problems.

I would however disagree with golizz that Japanese people have a high standard of cleanliness. It isn't any different to any other country.
by ???? (guest) rate this post as useful

As long as you stay out of the tub 2009/3/16 14:56
You can certainly take your child to the bathing area. But you cannot let a non-toilet-trained child into the TUB. Usually there is a sign (in Japanese) prohibiting it.

Try to use the shower or faucet that is closest to the drain, so that in case the child pees, it won't bother anyone else. Also, don't forget to promptly put diapers on as you go out to the dressing room.

But you mentioned there are more than one kid. Keep a good eye on them, so that they won't run and slip or jump into the tub. If possible, take turns with the other parent so that you can look after one child at a time.

Children under say 5 or 6 are usually welcome to bath for any gender.

The baths tend to be crowded towards the evening. On the other hand, during the day, you can often have the whole room to yourselves. Not that it's okay to pee in the tub!
by Uco, a mom (guest) rate this post as useful

to ???? 2009/3/17 15:38
Well I live in America and I find that we're a lot less hygiene-oriented as a whole than Japanese people are. I have so many friends, for example, who don't shower for days at a time, while in Japan the norm is to bathe every day. Plus, the various slippers for various rooms aspect of their culture... There are lots of other ways too. Maybe when compared to some other country they aren't super cleanly, but when compared to mine, well, I know we just don't have the same standards.
by GoLizzy rate this post as useful

Just thought I'd add 2009/3/17 16:29
I have so many Japanese friends and family, for example, who don't shower for days at a time, while America was the place I earned the habit of showering every day.
by Uco, a Japanese once in L.A. (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/3/18 22:32
I once worked at a place where they had an "onsen". One little kid had an accident in the tub, and we had to close the "onsen" and empty and clean both men and women's tubs.

I took a bath/shower everyday in Japan and so have been in the US. So, for me there isn't much difference. But yes, there are people who skip a shower one day or two among us.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread