Incorrect etiquette at an onsen will land you in hot water so to speak, so it is important to follow the simple rules as per the sign below (taken from Echoland Hot Springs in Hakuba), translated for you as per below.• You must be naked inside the bath-do not wear a towel or underwear• Before you enter the bathtub wash yourself off using a shower first• The bathtub is for soaking only-do not use soap or shampoo inside the bath• Do not take alcohol into the hot spring-it is not the place to party• Dry yourself off before you enter the changeroom (you can use a little modesty towel for this)
Chopsticks and eating
The humble chopstick has been the downfall of many a foreigner, so here's a simple guide. •When you are not using your chopsticks, lay them on the holder provided,or on the table-do not leave them sticking into food-(this is a custom done at funerals!).•If you are taking food from a shared plate-do not put the food directly into your mouth-put it onto your own plate first.•Wait for everyone to be seated first before eating-everyone will say "itadakimasu" (grace) at the same time, then you can all start eating.•At the end of the meal you say “Gochisoosama deshita”•At a restaurant it is frowned upon if you ask for separate bills-better to pay all at once and work it out yourselves later.