From sentos to onsens, bathing is an essential part of Japanese culture. For as long as I can remember, soaking in a bath at the end of the day has been part of my routine. Now that I live in the U.S., taking a bath has become a special ritual that I really cherish.
The purpose of bathing is to purify yourself on a deep level and wash off the fatigue of the day; in Japan you always rinse off any physical dirt in the shower before getting in the tub. My bathing practice is quite simple – sometimes I light a candle or listen to music, but that’s about it.
Something I almost always use is Arajio sea salt, which can be a powerful purification tool. I put it in the tub or use it to massage the bottom of my feet; this may sound strange, but I also like to put tons of salt on the top of my head and rinse off in the shower before getting in the bath. Feeling the water and salt stream down over me is incredibly refreshing – I love that moment!
The Japanese believe that warming up the body boosts your life energy, so typically our baths are quite hot. I have a friend who lives in the hot spring region of Japan and her bath water is fed from a continuous natural hot spring – I’m quite envious of that!
When I dip into a bath, I can tell if my spirits are low. The water helps to restore my energy and calm my mind. After I take a bath, I always feel lighter.