Baths in Japan have features that distinguish them from other types of baths. Japanese baths may seem disappointing to the average European, as they are different from the usual baths and consist only of a large wooden barrel and a daybed in the corner. One of the main differences is that Japanese baths do not use steam, only hot water. In addition, Japanese baths are divided into two categories: ofuro and sento. Ofuro are designed for individual cleansing of the soul and body, no more than one or two people. Sento are public places where procedures can take many people.
Ofuro is a Japanese bathing complex that begins with a shower and continues with relaxation in a wooden barrel divided into two sections. You can sit in the larger section, and in the smaller one there is a stove that heats water up to 45-50 degrees. Fragrant oils and sea salt are sometimes added to the water, while strict rules are followed, such as the level of the heart above the surface of the water and the time limit of 15 minutes. Then the body is wiped dry and proceed to the next procedure - fonts with dry shavings of cedar or linden, which must be sprinkled completely. Various herbs and oils are added to the shavings to rejuvenate and improve the body. At the end of the procedures, you should drink green tea and relax.
Sento are public baths with hot pools and underwater benches for visitors, which are divided into men's and women's sections. Entire families or large companies go to sento, and after swimming, they relax in garden rooms with flowers, dwarf trees and aquariums.
However, the Japanese way of taking a bath is healthful and can even help rejuvenate the body. Japanese baths are based on the philosophy of using hot water or heated sawdust for a healing effect. This is the main element that makes the Japanese bath unique and healthy.
A visit to the baths is not only a hygienic procedure, but also a way of healing and cleansing the soul, unity with family and friends, and an integral part of a healthy and active life. Therefore, if you are traveling abroad, do not forget to include a visit to the local bathhouse in your schedule. This will help you get to know the country, its culture and people better, and will also give you tremendous pleasure.