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added foreigner controversy[edit]

I added in a foreigner controversy to the excellent onsen article because I thought it gave it a little more breadth. (I also started my first discussion page! First time for everything I guess. Malnova 03:08, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi, and welcome to Wikipedia. Thanks for your edits to Onsen. If you're interested about the controversy, you should also check out Sento#Tension_between_social_groups. I added this link to your text in Onsen. Best wishes and happy editing -- Chris 73 | Talk 03:13, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Hello, I am not that new to Wikipedia, but I appreciate the greeting all the same. I had just never started a discussion page before. The link is a good idea, but the link itself looks a bit unwieldy; not sure how to fix it. Yorishiku. 05:34, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I have changed the link from Sento#Tension_between_social_groups to Sento (in code: [[Sento#Tension between social groups|Sento]]). This should look better. -- Chris 73 | Talk 07:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Wash before bathing[edit]

Hi all, I'm having difficulty understanding the line in the article noting that people who do not wash before entering the onsen "might disturb the views of other people". Is the writer being whimsical or does he/she mean something else? I find it hard to see how this might "disturb views" and am thinking of changing this phrase but I would welcome any input first.


I think it is just saying "might be disturbing to others", and not view as what you see with the eyes. Or, just disturbing the wa, as we gaijin are prone to do (either accidentally, or on purpose) Smiley.png Neier 08:18, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
PS - you can sign/date your messages with four consecutive tilde characters at the end of your text (~~~~) .

I went in and changed the wording to the "disturb views". It kind of stuck out when I read it myself the first time, Malnova 13:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Swimsuits, noise, infections and controversy???? Onsens are not about any of these things and these should not be boldface major headings in the article. I have never seen such a skewed and negative view of onsen in my life and I have been visiting Japanese onsen for over 20 years with over 100 visits. The viewpoint represented here is that of the Western "clorine and swimsuit" approach to bathing which has nothing to do with Japanese onsen culture. It is a view from those who do not understand it. I notice there is no mention of foot fungus in the Wikipedia page on yoga, and no mention of disease in the page on hotels, no mention of food poisoning in the pages on cuisine. In Japan onsen are viewed as places for relaxation, healing, and local food. The unbalanced negative perspective does not belong in an enclyclopedia. I suggest you wipe this and start from scratch by enlisting Japanese experts on hot springs first of all.

I clearly agree with the comment just above. I have changed note number 4, which stated "Entering the onsen while still dirty or covered in soap can be very unsettling for others and might even cause an uproar. At the very least, onsen users are expected to use a scoop provided to splash water over their genitals and feet. This symbolically cleanses these areas." I should be underlined that everyone is expected to clean his body before entering the bath. The "symbolic" cleaning has nothing to do in this article, as this is normally not an accepted practice. I also would suggest to put the "Recent controversy" only as a notepage: this issue is now rather old, and it was anyway not representative at all of Japanese onsen - it was really an unique case which do not merit so much attention. Sanji japan (talk) 09:58, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

This reads like someone's personal online guide to onsen, not a Wikipedia article.[edit]

It needs to conform to Wikipedia standards in language and tone.--Sir Edgar 08:28, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't sure of what you were talking about at first, but having read the article through after many months, a lot of "personal" observations and flowery writing has creeped in. I made a number of small edits to try to get the tone right. A large part of what I did was condensing observations about "contented sighs" etc. and combine the into a paragraph referring to etiquette and rules. Comments welcome. Malnova 21:39, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
The intro (the part before the first section header) is still too long. Can you break it down into 2-3 sections? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:37, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I have looked at some of the text and it still looks like a personal travel diary or travelogue. It needs fixing to make it more like an encyclopedia article. --Filll 15:04, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I tried to make it a little less personal and less like a travel-logue or an article out of a travel brochure. It probably needs more polishing however to remove the flowery language and weird tone. Also some of the sentence constructions definitely are not from a native english speaker, as I guess is not surprising. I tried to fix some of these.--Filll 15:58, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

"Rotenburo" - a word used but not defined[edit]

"Rotenburo" appears twice in the article. It is not hyperlinked, but looking up "rotenburo" in Wikipedia gets you redirected back to "onsen". Should the word not be covered in the main body of the text? SpikeMolec 06:43, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Added it to the characteristics section. Neier 07:20, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Infections section[edit]

To add more balance, I put in a section in infections from hot springs/onsen. There is a huge medical literature about infections from Japanese onsen.--Filll 15:59, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Good additions, thanks for the work. I also added Athletes foot. Although without refs, I believe this is very common. -- Chris 73 | Talk 10:50, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Heavily edited[edit]

The article was recently heavily edited. I am not sure how reasonable these were. Please take a look. --Filll 15:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

No comments on the editing? The removal of skinship etc? I will then replace that material that was removed.--Filll 23:58, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Removal of infections and bias sections[edit]

This has happened repeatedly over the last few days. If you want to do this, discuss it here on the talk page. Do not summarily remove this sort of material.--Filll 23:56, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Well if people are so sensitive about this, I now included a nice sign. Japanese might find this embarassing, but the best disinfectant is sunlight. It is not like it is any secret of how Japanese treat foreigners. See this for example.--Filll 01:02, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The infections and bias sections provide a skewed view of onsen and are better removed from the section. The focus should be on providing information of what it is about, not the rare freak circumstances which one can read in the newspaper once in 10 years. If the same approach were provided to other topics in Wikipedia it would read like a tabloid instead of an enclyopedia.
That is not true. Swimming for example has an extensive section about the risks, including athletes foot. About the bias, this was a big news item, and is still well known especially in the foreign community in Japan. Oppose removal of these sections -- Chris 73 | Talk 13:11, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I propose the removal of the Infections section - it's incidental and not elemental to the cultural concept of onsen, and is already discussed relatively well in the more general Hot Springs entry. The bias section isn't entirely appropriate as it is not a series of events unique to onsen, but is endemic to the culture, but that's more debatable. Zaileron (talk) 13:43, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

内湯 uchiyu[edit]

I'm Japanese,and I don't have any confidence in my English sorry... "内湯" is usually pronounced "uchiyu" .And uchiyu don't mean indoor ONSEN. It's private ONSEN owned by a local inn and so on.Include indoor/outdoor ONSEN. Will anybody amand article in my place? -- 16:11, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I will try to help later. I cannot see Japanese characters on this computer system.--Filll 16:16, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Selected onsens[edit]

This list seen to be a bit arbitrary (ie, there don't seem to be any rules for inclusion). Perhaps this section should be replaced with a category: Onsen in Japan. All Wikipedia articles on onsen could be tagged with the category, that way an onsen could be included in the category if it met WP:NOT page criteria. Any thoughts?Saganaki- 06:29, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Some of these things are already in Category:Spa towns in Japan or Category:Hot springs. Of course a structured, annotated list would be superior to an inscrutable category. Kappa 06:49, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
There is a list of nationally designated onsens over at ja:国民保養温泉地. Kappa —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 01:26, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I fail to see the merit in this list of seemingly randomly selected onsen. If there's a list of onsen elsewhere, repeating a handful of onsens on this page (selected on what basis? having been visited by the editor in question?) then this list really needs to go. Any objections? --Lets Enjoy Life (talk) 01:49, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I think it can be restricted at least to 'notable' onsen - those that are well known. For instance I just deleted a link to a new onsen under construction. Apart from the fact it links to a wiki article that is seemingly a commercial promotion, such a new place, not even open yet, hardly fits the bill. Koizoomi (talk) 14:08, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Mixed vs. single-sex[edit]

My understanding is that most onsen baths originally were mixed-gender (i.e. men and women bathed together), but that during the last century or so the custom has changed and most if not all onsen are single-sex (i.e. men and women bathe separately). If my understanding is correct, probably something should be said about this. Roland129.93.17.106 (talk) 16:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Japanese links[edit]

Should the links section be reviewed? There are some there, such as and, that are purely in Japanese and would be of little help to English speakers. Unless anyone has strenuous objections it may be an idea to delete a few. Appreciate people's thoughts. Koizoomi (talk) 12:47, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I have removed these sites above plus two other recent additions (commercial hotel sites). Please discuss if you consider this unfair. Thanks.Koizoomi (talk) 12:02, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I think as long as they are tagged as in Japanese, there is no problem with including Japanese language sites. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:06, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Good point. However, if people have good Japanese proficiency they can easily access links via the Onsen wiki page in Japanese. This would help prevent an unecessary build up of links on this page.Koizoomi (talk) 08:07, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but there may be some links included here which are not included there. Links do not need to be placed only in the appropriate language article. We have tens of thousands of articles (if not hundreds of thousands) on this site which use non-English sites as both sources and external links. Please do not remove Japanese links here simply because they are in Japanese. Just tag them with {{ja}} so people know what to expect when visiting them. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:00, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I think under this guideline - - we could probably say there's no need to retain them. Also, "as the number of external links in an article grows longer, assessment should become stricter". If the deleted links are not available on the Japanese page could you please consider placing them there as it would seem more appropriate? Thanks. Koizoomi (talk) 03:49, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Naegleria Removal[edit]

"The Naegleria fowleri amoeba, which lives in warm waters and soils worldwide and can cause meningitis.[8][9] Several deaths have been attributed to this amoeba, which enters the brain through the nasal passages.[10][11]" Although I disagree with the inclusion of infections on this article in general, this one is particularly weak. I've only found 2-3 case study reports of this amoeba in Japan. Additionally, proper onsen etiquette involves not putting your head underwater, and a proper onsen typically features constantly moving water, both of which would eliminate exposure to this disease. It's akin to warning of herpes exposure in using public toilet seats. Zaileron (talk) 13:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Also, swimming in any body of water (pond, lake, river, etc.) that doesn't contain massive amounts of chlorine can hypothetically be harmful by the same logic. --Bxj (talk) 04:10, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated scale of discrimination[edit]

While there have been statements on WIkipedia implying that racial discrimination at Japanese baths is a nation-wide, decades-long issue, all references of discrimination point to the city of Otaru in 2001. As such, I have left mention of the Otaru 2001 incident in the article while removing unsubstantiated claims of nation-wide decades-long racism at these public baths. After years of mention on Wikipedia, editors couldn't find anything but this Otaru 2001 incident, which is the opposite of what you would expect to happen if nation-wide decades-long racism claim was anywhere near the truth. --Bxj (talk) 04:05, 20 January 2011 (UTC)


The title of the page, as well, as the boldface introductory text, display "onsen" as an italicised word, while, throughout the article, "onsen" is unitalicised. Does this have something to do with Hepburn romanization that I'm just unaware of, or does this article contain such formatting inconsistencies? Seems rather odd to have "onsen" italicised and unitalicised throughout the same article. –Matthew - (talk) 22:39, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Seems inconsistent to me too, I think it should be changed unless there's something I don't know about? Clare. (talk) 22:44, 16 December 2016 (UTC)