|The old image of the "Onsen" as a place where the elderly
gathered to gossip and relax is being overtaken with the new
image of the bath-house as an attractive social spot for people
of all ages and from all walks of life.
While the Seto Inland Sea area can't boast a plethora of Onsens,
it does house one of the oldest in Japan - Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama,
the setting for 'Bocchan' , a famous novel by Soseki Natsume,
and Kinoe Onsen on Osakikamijima where you can enjoy a wonderful
view of Seto Inland Sea. The old onsens where a lot of locals
go give you an opportunity to experience some local atmosphere.
rules and culture regarding onsens are fairly strict: everybody
is supposed to be naked in onsens and most onsens have separate
rooms for men and women. Having said that, some hotels and ryokans
have private baths/onsen in the rooms and some have "family
baths" that can be reserved for private use. DO NOT wear a bathing
If you simply want to enjoy only onsen itself, you either bring
your own towels or buy / rent one. You can put your valuables
in your locker or you can also deposit your baggage at the front
The protocol when you enter the onsen is very important - wash
yourself in the shower before you go into the communal bath,
don't put your towel in the bath water, and enjoy!!!