Japanese bathing is basically made up of these steps. First, after taking off one's clothes in the changing area, the bather steps into the washing area next to the bathtub and sits down on a small stool to rinse off the daily pollution from the entire body. Rinsing is accomplished rather quickly, the point being twofold: to clean off the dirt from one's body before entering the hot water that is to be shared by others and to accustom the body to the temperature of the bathwater.
Now that the body is ready for soaking, the bather climbs over the edge of the bathtub and slowly descends into the deep soaking tub. If the bathwater is too hot, cold water from the faucet can be added. Traditionally the water is suppose to be very hot. One slowly sinks into the water, and after a while, the body becomes used to the water, feeling gradually as though the heat has penetrated to its core. The tingling sensation disappears and changes into a mildly dull pleasant feeling. Usually this is the sign that the body is ready to be scrubbed. In winter, this first soaking can take up to ten minutes; in summer, it can be as short as three minutes.
Feeling somewhat heavy, as if one has been cooked, the bather gets out of the tub and sits down on the stool. This time he or she gets a bucketful of water from the faucet. Rubbing soap onto a loofah, washcloth, or sponge, he or she completely rubs him - or herself all over from head to toe. While still sitting down, the shampooing begins. The feeling is that now one has been cooked, it is time to vigorously scrub-to get every possible inch of dead skin and dirt scraped off the body. Most Japanese remain seated while soaping the body, taking care not to splash any soap scum into the tub water, and depending on mood, this scrubbing can take as long as ten to fifteen minutes.
The bather completely rinses off the soapsuds, then rinses once again. At this point, he or she is ready for the last soaking. Since the body is already warmed this time, it is easier to descend into the clean water. The body feels smooth and soft after the vigorous scrubbing, and the muscles and nerves begin unwinding from the accumulated tensions of the day. After this last soak, one might take a cold shower or simply splash some cold water over the shoulders. In the changing area, the bather dries off and puts on comfortable clothing. Now, the Japanese style bathing is finished and you come down for a good healthy, organic dinner prepared by Shadi followed by some Numi tea.