A specially constructed mask designed for use in all kinds of public bathing facilities.

It comes as no surprise that visitors to onsen hot springs and other bathing facilities like public baths, spas, and saunas, have dramatically decreased during the past year of the pandemic. Even as Japan and other countries begin rolling out increased vaccine distribution in the coming months, those folks who feel comfortable enough to begin frequenting such facilities again will appreciate an added preventative measure from contracting or spreading coronavirus through use of the new Onsen Mask.

Swimsuit and nursing goods retailer Footmark developed the Onsen Mask to help prevent the spread of saliva and respiratory droplets from sneezing and coughing in public bathing spaces. It will first be limited to sales at onsen facilities, travel industry buildings, and governmental offices from March 30 and subsequently for individual use on May 26. The manufacturer’s recommended retail price is 550 yen (US$5.00).

▼ A promotional image for the Onsen Mask

The mask itself is made of stretchable silicone with an attached spiral cord that loops around the back of the neck to fix it securely in place (extending up to 100 centimeters [39.4 inches] in length). A gap below the mouth area ensures that bathers can breathe without an issue in a variety of steamy settings. When it’s time to wash the face, they can simply hang it from their neck for a moment.

It’s also wearable by people of all ages. The medium-sized version (28-32 centimeter circumference) is intended for children, while the large-sized version (32-38 centimeter circumference) is intended for adults. There’s even a choice of three colors: white, blue, and mint.

▼ Illustrations showing how to wear the Onsen Mask correctly

Furthermore, the mask is easy to clean–simply hand wash it in water and soap then wipe off to dry.

While it’s not a one hundred percent foolproof method to stop the coronavirus and other germs, hopefully the Onsen Mask will help pave the way for us to get back out and visiting some of the best onsen in Japan in the coming year in the safest way possible.

Source: Footmark via IT Media
Images: Footmark
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