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Japanese Bathroom Etiquette - The Bathtub

In Japan the toilet and bathrooms are built separate from all other rooms, the usage of each room of convenience has its own set of rules, these guides one on the proper behavior as well as how to use them, you would agree that this is quite unlike what happens in the West, that is why its important to know the rules, as well as hold em dear, when you plan that special trip to Japan.

Bathing Etiquette:
Unlike other parts of the world, where the main aim of any bathtub is just to wash the body, the mode for a Japanese bath is entirely a different affair, as the bath tub is not only for bathing but is meant to soothe away, all the worries and problems of the day.

It is traditional for all the members of a household, to share the same bath water, this is the why the washing of one’s birthday suit, must be done outside the Japanese bath tub. There are two areas to a Japanese bathroom, the first contains a sink with an area for undressing, the other contains the bath tub as well as an adjacent shower, for the washing your body.

The Japanese bathtub is much deeper, yet shorter than the regular bathtubs in other parts of the world, since bathing is one of the most important rituals of the day, most bath tubs in Japanese houses are custom built, to set at specific temperatures and this usually means, at a much hotter temperature than we are used to.

Age greatly determines which member of the household, would get pride of place to use the bath tub first. The father as head of the house usually gets the first opportunity, but this changes whenever a guest is present, as the father will give up his place to let the guest get the first rights to the bath tub. This is line with the Japanese Culture, of fully welcoming a guest into their home.

The water in a Japanese bath tub, is still useful even after the last member of the household has taken their bath, its only then that the water can finally be drained and then used for the household wash.

When the Japanese bath tub is not in use, a lid is used to cover the bath tub, this is usually to keep the heat in, as well as to keep the evaporating water from escaping.

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