Mixed gender onsen 4

Extracted from a lady’s blog entry dated 2015 – My first time experience of MIXED onsen.

Takaragawa Onsen is a Japanese style hotel (Ryokan) with outside Onsen. They get many good reviews on Trip adviser.

It’s in Gunma prefecture and it takes about 3-4hours from Tokyo by car. I was surprised that it still has many snows. The area also famous for ski resort.

 They provide Yukata as night clothes and you can chose your favorite design from among many.

The place is very popular and always fully booked. Because of amazing outside Onsen! It’s the best Onsen ever. I was so excited like this!

They have four kinds of outside Onsen. The place is special, because of not only location but also MIXED Onsen!

I’ve never tried before, so this is first time for me.

Normally you cannot put a towel into a bath, but they provide special Onsen cloth (Yuamigi) only for women.

For guys? Of course must be naked! ( You can bring a small towel. No worries ;p)

At the beginning, I felt a bit shy but get used to it soon. Lol. The place is spacious, so I can keep my private space.

I think this place easy for Mixed Onsen beginner. You can enjoy with your boyfriend / girlfriend or family 🙂

The next day I went to Houshi Onsen for just taking a bath.

The Onsen has a tradition going back 140 years and it is registered tangible cultural property. This place made me feel like slip back in time.

They also have mixed Onsen.

But they don’t provide Onsen cloth and even women cannot bring towel into a bath… And this Onsen is not so big.

To be honest it’s almost occupied by men.One guy took a bath with glasses…

The place and traditional Onsen is pretty nice. That’s interesting experience. But I think it’s not comfortable for women.

Mixed gender onsen 2

Woo.. Is this a all-nude mixed gender onsen??
And the lady is no ‘obasan’ (older woman) either, as in the usual case for mixed-gender bath.

Seems like a young mum, judging from the fact she is carrying a baby in her arms.. And I guess she is naked too, as her nipple is visible in the photo, albeit faintly. 🙂

Mixed-gender onsen experience – a true account

Extracted from a young Caucasian lady’s travel blog

Yes, I was at a mixed-gender Onsen, which roughly translates to “a few dozen men and four women sitting in a miniature swimming pool -sized bath tub. Outside. In the snow. Naked.”

And apparently there’s a sort of unspoken code of conduct for a mixed-gender Onsen, one that involves rules for appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Apparently, if you’re male, it’s perfectly acceptable to sit in the bath in your birthday suit or with a wash-cloth sized towel strategically placed across your lap. It’s inappropriate, however, for a female to do the same. If you’re female, you’re supposed to wrap a large towel around you and wear it mini-dress style wherever you go. Yes, even in the bath. Especially in the bath.


My Australian friend and I weren’t aware of these rules and weren’t even aware of our mistake until about 20 minutes after we’d settled into the bath, minus a towel, (dress size or otherwise). Most everyone I’ve told this story to have interrupted me at this point to exclaim incredulously: “How could you have not realized?!” But about 95% of the people in the Onsen were male and therefore towel-less and honestly, we spent most of that time trying very hard not to look at anyone and carry on a normal conversation, (as in “Ho hum, just another normal day, bathing outdoors in the middle of winter with a tub full of strangers.”).

It wasn’t until we noticed the creepy guy who was shadowing us, openly staring as we moved from bath to bath and the group of teenagers who kept darting over to our side of the bath, supposedly to admire the river view, that we realized something was amis.
These weren’t normal “Hey look at that foreign looking person” looks, they were leers. Where were all the other women? we wondered aloud. And then we noticed them, huddled close together and very conservatively, very self-consciously fully covered.

I swear, Japan needs to come with a handbook; some written instructions on how to survive here without making a complete ass of yourself.

While most of us men would fantasize taking a soak with many young & naked ladies; the reality is, in a mixed gender onsen, almost all women are fully covered up, notwithstanding the ratio of females to males is already very lob sided.

Some onsens in the rural areas of Japan still practice all-nude, mixed gender bathing.. but I read that these places are usually known only to locals, and young people hardly go there..

Well, or one might just get lucky, as in the above case. =P

Mixed-gender Onsen (hotspring) / “Konyokuburo”

Mixed-sex communal bathing has been a common practice in Japan since hundreds of years back. However due to modernisation and western influence, “Konyokuburo” (mixed-gender public onsens) are now becoming increasing rare as Japanese social mindset changes.

The basic rule of onsen is bathers must only be in their birthday suits. Most onsens in the country still adhere to this rule, but this applies mostly to only those gender-segregated ones.
The Konyokuburos (already a minority) located in major cities either require bathers to wear swimsuits or wrap towels across their bodies for modesty reasons, or are accessible to private booking only.

Personally I feel that wearing clothing into the water goes against the principle of enjoying a relaxed onsen experience. I mean, isn’t it any much different from taking a soak in a swimming pool??
And the special thing of appearing naked in front of others is the feeling of losing that inhibition of being clothed.


It is said that ‘clothing-optional’ / ‘strictly-no-clothing’ mixed-gender public onsens can still be found in rural parts of Japan. However, these places are often quite inaccessible especially to tourists (like me).

I have read some stories posted by onsen enthusiasts that they still encounter women who are okay to go nude in the presence of other men in these Konyokuburo.
Yet I doubt the chances of seeing one is high. Since the younger generation of Japanese are generally more uptight about public nudity, the probability of encountering a granny in a Konyokuburo is much higher in my opinion. =P


The decrease in no. of women going to Konyokuburo is also largely due to more men not following the social etiquette of not staring at the ladies’ private parts.
Personally, I think it is okay to take quick glances at her breasts & vaginal area. It is unrealistic to expect any straight males to not look at all. Surely the lady would not expect that either, and I’m sure any woman would do a quick check out of the penis too when come face-to-face with a naked man when at the bath house. Yet, staring is definitely bound to make the woman uncomfortable.

I had never gone to a mixed-gender onsen before. Then what is my likely reaction should I appear naked in front of women at the bath? While I believe sexuality shouldn’t be associated to mixed-gender bathing, I guess it’s highly probable I would still erect at certain times during the bath.. esp when there are attractive gals around. Probably it will take a couple of more such occasions to make my body realise that appearing nude in front of women other than my wife is not a big deal after all.


Me and wife, being onsen lovers, would love to enjoy a beautiful outdoor onsen together and I do not mind other men seeing my wife’s body in a onsen setting. She doesn’t mind going to a Konyokuburo too although not extremely keen in the prospect of appearing nude in front of other men.

However, if she is going to feel uncomfortable of being stared at by half a dozen of men, which is likely if the no. of men far outnumber the women, then I would rather she goes to the female bath.

I really hope if my lifetime, I am able to go to a beautiful Konyokuburo at least once. Of course, I would be lying if I say that I’m not hopeful to encounter any attractive-looking naked gals! If no, a good soak will do just fine 🙂 ;