Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glossary Term: Onsen

Change of pace this time around. Today's term is onsen, the Japanese term for hot spring. Since Japan is situated in a volcanically active area, there are A LOT of hotsprings in the country. There are several types of onsen, ranging from "public bath" types to being part of an inn/hotel. They play a major role in domestic tourism, with people commonly vacationing at onsen to relax. Consequently, they show up quite often in manga/anime, most commonly in romance-comedies (for obvious reasons), though they can really be featured in any genre. Strategically placed towels or steam usually blocks out any nudity.

As an example, the majority of the series Love Hina (shown above) takes place in a girl's dormitory which features an onsen.

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