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Kamina: Simon look! It's a hot spring! Ohh... Ohh, a hot spring! A veritable smorgasbord of everything a man's heart truly desires and craves! A building that's sole function is to accommodate to a man's passion, fiery spirit and raging soul!
Simon: Uh, Bro, what are you talking about?
Kamina: Boobshots, boobshots, boobshots, boobshots, boooooooobshoooooots!
Gurren Lagann The Satire, Chapter 1 act V
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The cast finds a reason to spend an episode at a hot spring (onsen, [温泉]) — a popular type of Japanese resort/attraction similar to communal bathing.note  It's the Japanese equivalent of a European spa town. Naturally this provides an excusable opportunity for Fanservice if a show is so inclined, although some shows aimed at younger kids will use toweled characters. Some series that aren't geared towards younger viewers will broadcast with towels (and/or Censor Steam), but remove them from the DVD version as an incentive to buy the DVDs.

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In milder situations, this is merely equivalent to a bath scene where the episode slows down so the characters can relax and think about the events of the day. Often a trip to an onsen will lead to characters accidentally seeing each other in the nude. Or intentionally seeing each other in the nude. Or falling onto each other in the nude... whatever they want, really, as long as someone ends up naked.

Occasionally, there may be a little ping-pong playing afterwards, and the characters will likely wear yukatas for added fanservice, and drinking some nice, cold milk.

The low-budget version of this is the sento [銭湯] episode, where the characters go to the public bath house together. Usually, it's because there's a plumbing or other utility failure at home.

This kind of scenario is so common in anime there is even a wiki that catalogues them.

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Cousin to the Beach Episode and Public Bathhouse Scene. Every anime more than two episodes long will include at least one of these scenes.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Episode 32 of Happy Heroes is about the heroes going to a newly-opened hot spring to warm up on a cold winter day after Big and Little M. cut the gas line to Doctor H.'s house.

    Comic Books 
  • At the very beginning of Issue #43 of IDW' My Little Pony comic main series, the protagonists find hot springs. It's a Non-Fanservice occurrence, which is later exploited: The Magical water later shifts those who touched with it, turning them into an evil version of themselves.

    Fan Works 
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: During a story arc set in 2021, Shinji and Asuka take a trip to Okinawa and take a bath in a hot spring.
  • Once More with Feeling: After fighting Sandalphon in episode 17, the cast spends the rest of the day at a hot springs resort. During that time, Misato apologizes to Asuka for risking her life during the battle, and opens up to her about her parent issues.
  • One Piece: Parallel Works had Yuki-Rin, Kazuma, Heathcliffe, and Aki going to one during the Five Days of Fun Arc. It didn't really have any Fanservice, but Heathcliffe's backstory and Yuki-Rin's amnesia were discussed among the Capricorns.
  • The Berserk fanfic "Three Nights" pulls this off with Guts, Casca, Pippin and Judeau finding a natural hot spring on their way to Wyndham to rescue Griffith. After Pippin and Judeau bathe off-screen, Casca aggressively but cleverly convinces Guts to take a bath by luring him to the hot spring - with her as the bait. The tone of the fic avoids this scene from turning into a lemon, but Guts and Casca do share a very intimate moment with each other.
  • Friendship Is Magical Girls has "Golden Week" the two-part episode about three-quarters of the way through the Magic Arc, wherein the team travels to a hot springs spa in the countryside to relax and bond as a team. Technically speaking, they're only in the hot springs in the first part, however.
  • Hotspring Souls! is a Soulsborne (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II, and Bloodborne) crossover comedy fic that plays with the idea of the games' protagonists having a weekend vacation at an inn/hotspring in the countryside.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines had a hotspring scene in Chapter 37 in the stories version of the Cinnabar hotspring seen in anime. Unlike the canon version there is no destroyed wall and no main characters see or try to each other naked. There is a group of unnamed characters who tried or had tried though.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the 1954 film The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Harry Brubaker (William Holden), an American fighter pilot stationed in Japan goes to a public bath with his wife Nancy (Grace Kelly) and their kids. No nudity is shown, since it was 1954, but they seem to be nude, and act very shy when a Japanese family enters and disrobes for the bath next to them. Later, they relax. Pretty daring for 1954.
  • In The Yakuza, Tanner enlists the aid of his old army buddy, Harry Kilmer, to go to Japan and rescue his child. Or, so it seems. There's a bit of tattooed knife violence and implied nudity in the bath house.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha has the titular character take some high-ranked Americans militarymen to a onsen resort.

    Literature 
  • A rare Western example, from Star Wars Legends: I, Jedi has a scene where Luke and his inaugural class go swimming in a grotto. Corran also discovers that Halcyons have to obey the laws of thermodynamics, as he absorbs the heat and then redirects it into psychokinesis.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation, of all things, had one. Troi, Troi's mom, Worf and his boy Alexander all hopped into mud baths on the holodeck a couple of times.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess had one in season 5 when they stopped by an Wild West-style town.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman when Preston decided to open a spa in his hotel resort. He thought he found a gold mine and an attraction for tourists, but it was most enjoyed by local ladies who went there to mess with him a bit.

    Video Games 
  • A recurring tradition of the Tales Series.
    • One of the inns in Tales of Symphonia is also a hot spring, and going there with Zelos in the party after a certain plot event results in a cutscene where Zelos tries to spy on the female party members while they're bathing. Lloyd shows up and chastises him, but the ladies hear him and Zelos runs off, leaving Lloyd to take the blame. The game even gives Lloyd the title of "Peeping Tom".
    • The same kind of situation happens in Dawn of the New World if the party goes to the hot spring at one point and have the ladies go in. Zelos tries to spy on the females (while Emil and Lloyd give him crap for it), and Lloyd gets blamed again as he's the only one didn't run. When the males take their turn, Marta tricked everyone but Emil into not coming in so she could spend time with him. When Emil finds out he ends ups calling everyone else attention. Naturally, everyone but Lloyd decide that Emil must have planned this even though both claim otherwise (and them all knowing how openly affectionate Marta is towards Emil), and Emil also gets the title "Peeping Tom".
    • The original bathing scenes in Tales of Phantasia had peeping on both sides: Chester on the male side, and Arche on the female. Chester also gained the title of Muscleman, Mint the title "Boin~chan". Tales of Eternia had no wall-watching, although Reid did have to smuggle Chat into the men's dressing room to get one of her skills, which leads to a rather unfortunate scene between her and Keele. Also on a separate occasion, Meredy decided to bath near the man's side instead, and Hilarity Ensues.
    • They're at it again in Tales of Vesperia. There are three different scenes. To get the first two, you need to pay 300,000 gald for the first and 600,000 gald for the second. During the first two, Raven keeps trying to peek at the woman's side of the spring, with little success. The third visit is free, During the third, the party winds up working there and at the end they all get costume titles.
      • In the PS3 version, there were a few scenes added for the hot springs to accommodate Flynn and Patty being in the party.
      • Actually, the second time Raven manages to see Judith completely nude, and coerces Karol into being his accomplice. Judith appears to be aware of this, but utterly nonchalant. In the the final scene, after returning with the new costumes, Raven and Rita have a shouting match through the partition.
    • And before Vesperia, Tales of the Abyss also had it in two scenes: one gives you new outfits and another gives Guy the title Naughty Devil due to him groping both Tear and Natalia after being shoved by Luke and Jade for an experiment.
    • While absent from Tales of Xillia, the sequel made up for it by making the hot springs event an animated cutscene. The party gets treated to it as a reward for paying off Ludger's 20 million gald debt. However, the hot spring they go to ends up lacking a partition, forcing them to improvise by having the guys (Rollo included) cram themselves into a water-filled, super-sized Tipo while the girls get to bathe comfortably. Hilarity and fanservice ensue.
    • Present in Tales of Berseria, with the added effect of a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land and Yggdra Union both feature a hidden "hot springs scene" where the games' female characters appear naked. Bafflingly, the American version of both games' hot springs scenes actually shows MORE than the Japanese version.
    • One of the jokes about Riviera is that the only way to tell gender for some NPCs is whether or not they appear in the bathing scenes; they are female if they appear in one, and every female appears in one.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star features sex segregated springs, with the male-only one much easier to reach than the female-only one. This is also a bit of a Guide Dang It! since you (naturally) need to bring soap. It's only available for a very short time at the very beginning of the game. Long before there is any hint either spring exists.
    • The sequel Lunar: Eternal Blue features baths instead. The clueless Lucia walks into the male bath as well, much to Hiro's surprise - and Ruby's chagrin.
  • Part of the Mt. Gagazet sequence in Final Fantasy X-2. (But only as a reward if the player approaches the area in a particular, stealthy way. If they approach the Fem-Goons directly, then the scene is skipped.)
    • Later on, as the Gullwings install cameras all over Spira, they get to watch nearly the entire cast of NPCs show up at the hot springs at various times. Subverted as all the NPCs keep all their clothes on (most probably due to budgeting). The PC sequence does provide briefer outfits for the three girls, although in Rikku's case it can be argued she ends up wearing more than she usually does.
  • Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3 and Persona 4. The former also involves a Stealth-Based Mission.
  • Averted in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, where there are two hot springs inhabited by Gorons, but there is not much focus on them other than for healing.
  • Pokémon:
    • The remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue (FireRed and LeafGreen) feature a hot spring that heals Pokémon. This being a Pokémon game, no fanservice is involved.
    • Hot springs also appear in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire/Emerald, though there is no Fan Disservice here, either. (The NPCs in the Lavaridge hot spring are all elderly.) Just outside the spring, an elderly man is warming himself in some heated sand. Talk to him, and he'll remark on how good the sand feels—until a Pokemon bites him in the butt. Perhaps dampening the comedy: the primary sand-dwelling Pokemon around there is Trapinch, a giant antlion larva with bear trap-like jaws.
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, too, but since all of the characters are Pokémon... yeah.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • The original Harvest Moon for SNES features a hot spring hidden in the mountains. Your character can relax there and you can even bathe with potential wives for relationship points. There's also a scene you can get with Eve where you accidentally come across her in the hot spring.
    • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature has a hot spring near one of the mines.
  • Stardew Valley has a hot spring, and though most of the time it remains unused by the general populace, Penny's final heart event takes place in the pool itself.
  • Present in all of the 5 generations of Record of Agarest War. The other present thing with this one is that Winfield gets beaten up by Borgnine every single time.
  • There's a hot spring side-quest in Luminous Arc 2. And another in Luminous Arc 3. The reward for undertaking the quest is permission for your party to use the hot springs for a while.
  • Partially averted in Ōkami, in which Ameterasu tries to go to a hot spring to relax, but the spring isn't running. You have to go on a mini quest in which you dig underground to get it flowing again.
  • In Breath of Fire IV there is a scene that was removed from the international releases of the game, featuring Nina and Ursula visiting a hot spring during the camping scene in the Tidal Flats. They ask Ryu to stand guard, Nina makes a comment along the lines of "Wow, I had no idea you were so big!" he gets curious, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Stage three of Touhou's second fighter Hisoutensoku starts at the "The Geyser Underground Center Entrance" which Marisa describes as a hot spring. Considering this hot spring is directly a product of Touhou 11 Subterranean Animism, and the next boss fight after Marisa takes place in the nuclear reactor powering the hot spring, this scene does not come out of nowhere at all. And no Fanservice.
  • MOTHER 3:
    • Hot springs are primary equivalent to the Trauma Inn. There's even a little sign by most of them with a haiku on it detailing the location (though the syllable count is rarely correct). It's played with on Tanetane Island, however; while the human protagonists are hallucinating after eating some strange mushrooms, what appears to be a lavishly decorated hot spring is actually a pool of toxic-looking sludge, which Boney will refuse to follow you into (should you choose to do so). The actual hot spring is right next to it, though inaccessible until you've 'sobered up'.
    • As for a Hot Spring Episode, there's Lucas's meeting with Ionia in a hot spring, wherein Lucas learns PSI from Ionia... somehow.
  • Present in Bleach: The Third Phantom. If you chose to play as a girl, you get more scenes than if you chose the boy.
  • In Asura's Wrath, Asura's old master brings him to a hot spring to recover from annihilating Kurow's airship fleet before he fights him. The goal is to get Asura drunk enough that he tries to grope the handmaiden he has serving him, before getting waylaid and knocked out cold by Augus.
  • Each game in the Suikoden series has an onsen built in the player's headquarters, and various optional scenes can be viewed by bringing the right combinations of characters.
  • In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, the male protagonist Kisuke and the female protagonist Momohime can have a series of humorous encounters with each other at a hot-spring.
  • On Chapter 16 in the Japan route of Super Robot Wars UX, the teams go into hot springs in the hidden ninja village. Sakura asks Sonshouku from SD Gundam Sangokuden if she will rust or not. No official art.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, there's the Hot Spring Scramble DLC scenario. Chrom and the Badass Crew stop by an onsen-like bath house, some charas (Lucina, Severa, Owain and Inigo) get dolled up in yukatas, and then the monsters attack the onsen so the group must defeat them all before they have a chance to enjoy the springs.
    • Fire Emblem Fates goes a step further by allowing you to construct a hot spring in your personal castle, letting you experience this between each battle with a random group of your units and also gives you free control of the camera. As it's not gender segregated, there's a chance the avatar might walk in on the opposite gender bathing, upon which Hilarity Ensues.
  • Project X Zone 2 features an optional cutscene that takes place in the hot springs in the New Game+.
  • One apparently volcanically active zone of Skyrim, near the Eldergleam Sanctuary, features steaming hot springs and water pools, as well as a Hunters' tent. When this one is occupied, hunters may be met clad only in the game's default underwear (unless you activated the appropriate mod, you pervert), comfortably bathing in a pool. Puzzlingly, if the player unclothes for the sake of roleplaying and tries to bath with the hunters, they will still make amused comments on the Dragonborn's own nudity.
  • Upon reaching the Alba Cavanich inn on the Mor Ardanian Titan in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the female party members elect to take a dip in the hot spring there; even Poppi. When Mythra enters in Pyra's place, Nia finds herself staring jealously at the former's body ("...Nice bod you've got there."). Mythra then notices Nia's embedded core crystal, betraying her status as a Flesh Eater Blade; Nia dresses modestly to disguise this, and promises to keep her secret from the others.
  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology has the "Bathing in Mana" DLC pack, where Aht convinces Stocke and company to relieve some stress by taking in a hot spring... once they defeat a monster that has been terrorizing the area. Once they do, Stocke has the option of bathing with the party member of his choice, male or female.
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4: One is part of the Post-End Game Content. Features both Censor Steam and Hand-or-Object Underwear.
  • The allied beastmen quest during the Stormblood story in Final Fantasy XIV has the player character relaxing in a hot spring with some of their allies. The scene gets interrupted with the recurring Big Bad of the beastmen quests appears to kidnap one of your companions. After the issue is resolved, everyone returns to the hot springs to pick up where they left off. While everyone is dressed in the appropriate attire (excluding the beastmen since they wear very little in clothing, but none of the naughty bits are ever seen anyway), you can choose to wear similar attire or choose to stay dressed in your battle gear.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Little Busters! Drama CD takes place at a hot springs which they go to after setting off on their own field trip at the end of the game. But since it's, y'know, audio only plus a couple of individual art pieces, there's not much fanservice. In fact, Kyousuke at one point tries to get the guys to peek at the girls' side - not because he himself is all that interested, just because it's a thing that happens in anime - but in the ensuing reluctance, the only one who ends up peeking is Kurugaya, who then gleefully tells the other girls about Masato's, um, assets, while he wails in horror.
  • There's a brief scene in Demonbane, during the Beach Episode. Whoever is Kurou's developing Love Interest walks in on him in the spring (it is explicitly described as a mixed bath), and all three have different reactions: Al covers her front with a towel but is otherwise nonchalant, Ruri (who is heavily drunk) is utterly shameless and makes advances, while Leica is embarrassed and requests Kurou turn away, and they sit back-to-back.
  • In the common route of Shining Song Starnova, Mr. Producer books the girls a vacation at an onsen as a reward for their hard work. Hijinks ensue. Several of the heroines’ routes, and the bonus chapter unlocked by beating the game, see them return to the onsen for various reasons.

    Web Comics 
  • Alien Hand Syndrome: Initially a very brief one for our heroines Erin and Mina, because it turns out that two guys are already bathing in it. Shrinking Violet Mina is mortified even though she's wearing a Modesty Towel. They return to the spring the next day, even though by then it's raining.
  • In DevilBear, the Daivas recover from a fight by skinny dipping in a hot spring.
  • In one El Goonish Shive strip, the characters recapping the plot to each other is covered up by scenes from the "Lucky Bunny Bounty Show" — both of which involve the male character accidentally walking in on the female character in an onsen.
  • In the creators' commentary for A Miracle of Science, a Hot Springs Strip was repeatedly referenced, originally in an April Fools joke.
  • Housepets! ended up with five consecutive arcs set in a portable onsen that Keene ordered. The set of arcs would do some backstory building, and mercilessly parody tropes associated with this one. The beginning arc was titled "The Hot Springs Episode".
  • Not Quite Daily Comic has a fanserving Onsen arc that ends in a dramatic battle.
  • Red String, which faithfully uses all the tropes of shojo manga, features an entire chapter about the cast spending a few days at an onsen. One of the male characters sees more of the anatomy of three mothers than he intended to.
  • One story arc of Saffron And Sage has Liri convincing the rest of the group to stop at hot springs spa much to Saffron's disapproval. But there might be more action than expected when it's revealed that the owner of the hot springs is evil and appears to be kidnapping her customers.
    Liri: Every adventure needs a hot springs escapade! We can all wear towels in the water for some reason. It'll be fun!
  • The guys relax at the onsen in scene 5 of Seiyuu CRUSH!, Feel So Good. Where we see a little nudity, some toe licking, and find Kaji and KoiZ in a secluded spot.

    Western Animation 
  • The Animesque animated series Totally Spies! has an episode where the girls take a vacation to a ski resort and relax in a hot tub. It's not long before a snow-and-ice gimmick villain shows up to ruin everything.
  • In the Futurama episode "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", the crew takes the Professor to a spa to get a tar bath because it makes the bather younger.
  • The Smurfs episode "Smurfs On Wheels" is basically three Smurfs on a hiking trip versus a group of Smurfs riding in Handy's new Smurf Wagon in order to get to Dreamy Steamy Springs. Naturally the hiking Smurfs get there first while the wagon-riding Smurfs only get there by way of Brainy's driving only for the vehicle to end up heading for the waterfall.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Uncle Iroh in a hotspring, then spending most of the episode wearing a loincloth.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In the episode "Diaz Family Vacation", Marco Diaz's parents, Angie and Rafael, celebrating their wedding anniversary were found relaxing romantically and making kissy faces in a hot spring "only wearing the fanny packs", after he and Star thought they were eaten alive by a Hydra in its den in the Forest of Certain Death. Rafael asked Star Butterfly's dad, King Butterfly, to join in too, but denies it.

Alternative Title(s): Onsen Episode

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