Reveals trick of the trade regarding no-towel onsen travel videos.

As just about anyone with even a slight interest in Japanese hot spring culture knows, before you step into the communal bathtub, you’re supposed to not only be thoroughly washed, but naked too. That’s because keeping the hot spring water pure doesn’t mean just keeping it free of grime and dirt, but also free of any clothing fibers from towels or swimsuits.

However a noticeable exception is when models are being filmed or photographed in a hot spring for travel programs, pamphlets, or other promotions. At those times, the hot spring operators generally allow them to wear a towel, so that wide angle photos that show off the splendor of the hot springs can be taken without showing off the naked bounty of the models.

By the way, the models are almost always women. For female viewers, this makes it easier to envision themselves relaxing in such luxurious accommodations, and for male viewers, well, they just like looking at half-dressed women. But Japanese Twitter user @kuro_kirinn was startled (pleasantly) when he was watching a prime-time broadcast TV travel show which showed a young lady, not wearing a towel of any kind, soaking in a hot spring.

“I want all travel shows to learn from the example set by TV Tokyo’s Admatic Tengoku program,” @kuro_kirinn tweeted, “and use this technique of filming women in the hot spring without wearing a towel.” It’s not clear whether his impassioned plea is because he’s such a stickler for water quality that he thinks even irregular towel use will permanently sully the spring, or because he dreams of a TV lineup featuring a lot more exposed female flesh. Either way, though, he enthusiastically applauded what he saw as an authentic display of proper nude hot spring etiquette.

And then the model herself came along and burst his bubble.

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That’s model Mio Mito, who’s also the woman shown in the photo @kuro_kirinn tweeted. She promptly responded to the tweet, saying:

“Sorry to butt in, but I’m the person in the photo. I was wearing a nipless on top, and a skin-colored bating suit below.

“Nipless” is a catchall Japanese fashion term to refer to adhesive, flesh-colored chest coverings that hide the counters of the nipple. Some are small, like pasties, but others are about as large as standard bra cups. Either way, wearing them means that Mito isn’t topless, and the presence of a bathing suit below, whether obscured by the hot spring water or not, means she’s not naked from the waist down either.

▼ Mito shows off another piece of unorthodox upper-body fashion.

In hindsight, it’s pretty logical that Admatic Tengoku wouldn’t want their on-screen talent naked while the cameras were rolling. As mentioned above, it’s a mainstream travel show, one that’s been around for decades and airs on a regular, free channel at a time when impressionable kids and easily upset seniors are still awake. For projects like that, Mito explains, the producers want to avoid the chance of anything that’s going to get them in trouble with censors, especially when expensive on-location filming is involved.

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The Kanagawa native didn’t completely crush all of her fans’ lascivious imaginings, though. She said that when filming sexy gravure DVDs, the models are often indeed topless, partially because in such case the model’s figure is the sole selling point, and even flesh-colored coverings can get scrunched up and spoil her bodyline with certain poses.

Of course, there are some other secrets of the gravure industry that might spoil the fantasy, but that’s a topic for another time.

Source: Twitter/@kuro_kirinn, Twitter/@mitoumio (1, 2) via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso