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.

Japanese baths? 2009/4/14 06:38
According to this website, when you take a Japanese bath you're first supposed to rinse yourself off using a washbowl. I saw the photo of a Japanese bath, read this and became thoroughly confused - bathing with a washbowl that small? What's the point if you're going to get water all over the floor no matter what you do? What's the bowl for???
by Confused! (guest)  

. 2009/4/14 08:43
I'm not sure what you are confused about, but let me explain anyway.

For example, in most European countries, the bathroom is a room where you walk around on a dry floor and the bathtub is the only place that gets wet. In Japan, it doesn't work that way.

In Japan, there is the dressing room and the bathing room. You get undressed in the dressing room, than enter the bathing room. In the bathing room, you wash yourself on the floor. Where there is a shower, you can use that. If you wish to use the bowl, you fill the bowl with warm water and you pour that water on your body. At home, you would often scoop water from the tub into the bowl. That saves water rather than to use the shower. The floor is supposed to get wet.

What's the bowl for? It's easier to scoop than by using your hands, and it saves more water than showers.

Btw, when taking a shower in European bathrooms, you are free to wet the walls and the shower curtain. However, in public baths in Japan, keep in mind that there are others around you, so try not to splash water on these people.

Hope this helps.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/4/14 08:47
The photo (on this website) looks like a bathing room in someone's home.

The point is that the bathtub water is for soaking - you soap and wash yourself outside the tub (wet area also). For the whole evening, family members might use the bath one after another, and the bathtub water is shared. So if you are staying at someone's home, you would be sharing the bathtub water for soaking, so you do not want to dirty the tub water. So you scoop out tub water with that bowl (or you could use the faucet outside the tub) and use that to wet/soap and rinse your washtowel.

This is also true at large shared bath at hot spring inns, or at onsen (public bath).
by AK rate this post as useful

Whoops 2009/4/14 08:49
...or at onsen (public bath).

Embarrassing. I meant to say "or at sento (public bath)."
by AK rate this post as useful

Getting the floor wet 2009/4/15 20:57
In many Japanese homes, there's a drain on the floor, sort of like the one that's at the bottom of a tub. The water drains there.

You can use a washcloth/flannel to wash yourself thoroughly with the small bucket.
by MN (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread