Useful Information for Foreign Tourists in Sapporo: How to Bathe at an Onsen
The onsen is a place to relax and enjoy a peaceful hot spring bath
If you are staying at a hot springs hotel or inn, bring the towel in your guestroom with you to the bath. (Some lodgings may provide towels at the bath.) If it is a day spa, be sure to bring your own towel. Use a locker in the changing room to store your valuables or room key, or leave them with the front desk for safekeeping.
There are two completely separate baths, one for men and one for women. In the changing room, remove all of your clothes and place them in one of the baskets or lockers provided. Never take photographs in the changing room or bath.
The only thing you should bring to the bathing area is your hand towel, and any soap if necessary. Before getting in the bathtub, quickly wash and rinse your body in the shower area.
After showering it is time to get in the bathtub. Make sure your hand towel never comes into contact with the bath water. No swimming or diving allowed. Also, do not lay on the floor. The custom in Japan for enjoying a hot spring bath (onsen) is to do so peacefully and tranquilly.
When you have finished soaking in the bathtub, wipe off any excess water before heading back to the changing room. This is to prevent the floor of the changing room from getting wet.