Do you like bath time? graph of japanese opinionDIMSDRIVE recently published the results of a survey into what people get up to in the bathroom. They interviewed 6,436 people from their internet monitor group by means of a private internet-based poll. 41.3% of the sample was male and by age 1.0% were in their teens, 17.2% in their twenties, 37.1% in their thirties, 27.4% in their forties, 12.7% in their fifties, and 4.6% aged sixty or older. This is a subject where I’ve previously translated another survey, so it might be useful as a cross-reference.

There are lots of interesting figures here that back up various preconceptions that I think many of us have about the Japanese love of bathing. I used to just have a quick shower or bath once or twice a week before I married, but I’ve been coerced into washing every day, and now quite miss a bath if for some reason I can’t have one, such as when on holiday. However, I only usually just jump into the tub for a minute or less to warm myself up just before bed time, with the majority of the bathroom time spent under the shower.

Q1: About how often do you take a bath, including shower only? (Sample size=6,436)

Almost every day 85.3%
Four or five times a week 9.6%
Two or three times a week 4.4%
Once a week 0.3%
Less than that 0.3%
Never 0.1%

Note that if no bath at home, going to a local bathhouse is counted instead.

By age, the seven non-bathers were perhaps three men in their twenties and three in their thirties and just one over sixty. Younger people were more likely to bath every day, with women slightly more than men.

Q2: When do you most often take a bath? (Sample size=6,429)

Morning only 6.7%
Daytime only 0.9%
Evening only 73.7%
Morning and evening, or more often 7.9%
Other 1.1%
No particular fixed time 9.7%

Younger people were slightly more likely to bath or shower in the morning. People living alone were almost thrice as likely to wash in the morning, and twice as likely to wash either twice or more per day or at no particular time; conversely those living with others were half as likely again to wash in the evenings, perhaps due to the Japanese custom of sharing the bath water.

Q3: Where do you most often start washing from? (Sample size=6,429)

Head or hair 47.2%
Face 18.8%
Arms 13.6%
Neck 8.4%
Legs or feet or toes 3.0%
Hands or fingers 2.9%
Bottom 2.1%
Chest 1.4%
Shoulders 1.0%
Stomach 0.7%
Back 0.2%
Other 0.7%

Women were amost two and a half times more likely to start with their face, presumably related to removing make-up.

Q4: What do you use to wash your body? (Sample size=6,429)

Nylon towel 46.2%
Cotton towel 22.3%
Wash towel or glove 11.7%
Body sponge 8.7%
Other towel 7.1%
Net-like sponge 6.7%
Body brush 5.0%
Loofah 1.0%
Other type of sponge 0.5%
Scrubbing brush 0.4%
Other 2.3%
Don’t use anything 7.8%

Q5A: How long do you spend in the bathroom (not just bath tub) in summer? (Sample size=6,429)

  All Men
About 5 minutes 4.8% 7.4% 2.9%
About 10 minutes 19.6% 27.2% 14.3%
About 15 minutes 26.6% 27.8% 25.4%
About 20 minutes 23.1% 20.3% 25.1%
About 30 minutes 17.9% 13.2% 21.2%
About 45 minutes 4.4% 2.3% 6.0%
About an hour 2.9% 1.5% 3.9%
About an hour and a half 0.5% 0.2% 0.8%
About two hours 0.2% 0.1% 0.3%
More than two hours 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%

Q5B: How long do you spend in the bathroom (not just bath tub) in winter? (Sample size=6,429)

  All Men
About 5 minutes 1.4% 2.6% 0.6%
About 10 minutes 7.3% 12.0% 4.0%
About 15 minutes 15.9% 22.6% 11.2%
About 20 minutes 25.2% 28.5% 22.9%
About 30 minutes 29.0% 23.6% 32.8%
About 45 minutes 11.4% 6.4% 14.9%
About an hour 7.5% 3.8% 10.1%
About an hour and a half 1.7% 0.4% 2.6%
About two hours 0.5% 0.1% 0.8%
More than two hours 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%

Q6: Apart from washing, what do you do in the shower or bath? (Sample size=6,429, multiple answer)

Think about things 36.0%
Shave 33.8%
Brush teeth 24.4%
Wash the bathroom 22.9%
Massage, stretch, exercise 17.1%
Play with children 16.1%
Read a book or magazine 10.2%
Sing 9.5%
Sleep 4.7%
Listen to the radio 3.5%
Listen to music 3.3%
Drink 3.2%
Watch television 2.6%
Do aromatherapy 2.4%
Talk on telephone or send mail 1.0%
Eat 0.5%
Other 1.9%
Don’t do anything in particular 22.7%

Barring listening to the radio, women do everything above much more than men; almost a third of men (over twice the figure for women) do nothing in particular.

Q7: When taking a bath or shower, do you usually soak in the tub or not? (Sample size=6,429)

  Summer Winter
Soak in the tub almost every time 33.1% 69.1%
Usually soak in the tub 14.4% 16.3%
Usually don’t soak in the tub (to SQ) 30.6% 8.8%
Almost never (or never) soak in the tub (to SQ) 21.9% 5.8%

As one might expect, people living alone were less likely to soak in the tub.

Q7SQ: Why don’t you soak in the tub? (Sample size=3,384, multiple answer)

Because shower only is good enough 66.8%
Because it’s hot 50.6%
Because it’s a pain 24.3%
Because it’s a waste of electricity, gas, water 19.3%
Because I’ve no time 16.7%
Because there’s no water reheating function 7.9%
Because I live alone 7.9%
Because the tub is too small 5.1%
Because I don’t like soaking in the tub 4.5%
Because I’ve never been in the habit of soaking in the tub 1.7%
Because the bath and toilet are in the same room 1.3%
Because I don’t have a bath tub 0.4%
Other 3.5%
No particular reason 1.2%

Q8: Do you use the remaining bath water for the washing machine, etc? (Sample size=6,429)

Reuse 55.3%
Don’t reuse 37.0%
Don’t know 2.7%
Don’t have or use a bath 5.0%

Q9: Do you like bath time? (Sample size=6,429)

Love it 21.6%
Quite like it 43.1%
So-so 27.6%
Don’t really like it 6.9%
Hate it 0.8%

Q10:What’s needed for a good bath time? (Sample size=6,429, free answer)

Rank Item Votes
1 Bath salts 586
2 Reading matter 155
3 Children’s toys 71
4= Radio 58
4= Soap 58
6 Aroma 47
7 Music 45
8 Television 39
9 Smells 29
10= Children 25
10= Drinks 25


hanna · August 13, 2009 at 15:40

U sould anser my quston………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………!!!

Japan Navigator » Blog Archive » Japanese bathing survey · March 1, 2009 at 16:10

[…] What Japan Thinks has now translated a survey about bathing habits. From this survey, held by DIMSDRIVE, it appears that 85% of Japanese take a daily bath, and others also regularly clean themselves. […]

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