You might be surprised by what’s forbidden.
If you think you’ve made an art of bathing at this point—you’ve soaked in everything from crystal-infused bath salts to apple cider vinegar, after all—think again. No matter how “extra” it may be, your bath game’s got nothing on centuries and centuries of Japanese tub-based traditions.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, the country boasts more than 3,000 public baths, or onsens, which have been a central part of Japanese culture since the eighth century. Each is supplied by a thermal hot spring and by law may not reach temperatures lower than 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Visiting one for a rest, in winter months specifically, is known as a touji, or “hot springs cure.”