Noren (暖簾): a small curtain in the entrance


When you enter a shop, you may find a small curtain that hangs in the shop entrance.
This is so-called “Noren(暖簾)”.

Today, I will explain the following points

  • What is Noren?
  • What is printed on it?
  • The purpose of hanging Noren

What is Noren?

Noren is the small curtain that hangs in the entrance of traditional Japanese restaurants, shops, and public bathhouses, and onsen (hot spring).


What is printed on Noren?


  •  The name of the store
  •  The logo of the store
  •  The Family Crest

are usually printed on the Noren.

In the public bathhouses or onsen (hot spring), the print on the Noren direct the rooms for men (男) and women (女), respectively.

This is an example of the entrance of Onsen for men(男).
In most public baths, black or blue color indicates for men.

On the other hand, this is Noren in the entrance of Onsen for women.

The pink or red color suggests women’s place in Japan.


Why Japanese people hang the Noren in the entrance?

Traditionally, the Noren curtains were used to provide shades and to help keep the clouds of dust in the streets from entering through the door.

Also, when the Noren curtain is hung in the doorway, it indicates that the shop or restaurant is open for business and people can enter.


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