211 Onsens

Steve talks about his love of onsens, or Japanese hot springs.


Steve: Hi, this is Steve. I'm going to talk about Japanese Onsen. Onsen is like a public bath, where men go, or women, in separate areas of course, and enjoy very hot baths. I like it very much because it's very relaxing and it's very healthy. They have different kinds of baths with different sort of flavors, you might say. Some baths have minerals like sulfur, or radium, or even camphor in them and they have different health benefits. After bathing in an onsen, for an hour or two you take a shower, shave, and wash your body and then afterwards, you feel really, really good. I like to go for sushi after onsen.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

public bath

Onsen is like a public bath.

A 'public bath' has become a place of relaxation for people now.  It is an area of warm water that was used for public sanitation in the past. Notice the following:

  1. Public baths are very popular in Turkey.
  2. Did you visit a public bath in Japan.

of course

The men and women are in separate areas, of course.

We add the phrase 'of course' when a statement is obvious or we want to draw attention to it. Notice the following:

  1. Of course, you have to remember that he is just a kid.
  2. You will still have to be careful of course.


These hot baths are very relaxing and very healthy.

If something is 'relaxing' it helps relieve stress and tension. Notice the following:

  1. I just want to have a relaxing night at home.
  2. The massage and the tea were very relaxing after a long week at work.


They have different kinds of baths with different flavors.

A 'flavor' is a taste that something has.  For example, candy can taste like fruit or have fruit 'flavor.' Notice the following:

  1. This candy has a familiar flavor, but I can't think of what it is.
  2. This soup has excellent flavor.


Some baths have minerals like sulfur or radium.

A 'mineral' is a substance that naturally occurs in nature.  Many time people create mines to take some of these minerals out of the earth. Notice the following:

  1. Fresh vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals.
  2. He uses natural minerals in his jewelry.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
public baths • of course • relaxing
flavors • minerals
  1. Some people think that classical music is very .
  2. Most cereal has added vitamins and .
  3. The food in India has many strong, but delicious .
  4. , a healthy diet is very important to keep you from getting sick.
  5. They have separate for men and women.