I Now Enjoy Getting Naked in Public Areas

Trip Start May 25, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Japan  , Kyushu-Okinawa,
Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beppu

After an exhausting few days at Fukuoka, I decided to head to a more relaxed sort of place. I headed to Beppu, which is basically a touristy sort of town/city built on hot springs. When I first go to Beppu, I wondered why I had came for. It seemed a place for couples. Not really a place to meet people. Not because the place was bad in anyway. It was more that, the thing to do in Beppu is go to Onsens (public baths) and to do that you have to get naked. I wouldn't want to get naked with anyone I know in the slightest....

I watched Rocky

Now in Fukuoka I happened to watch the most recent Rocky “Rocky Balboa” made with a couple of die hard fans. I thought that would be the end of watching Rocky in Japan. Little did I know was that the guy who worked at the hostel in Beppu was a big fan of Rocky. We stayed up late watching the first Rocky and then on the next night I watched the next one. I never used to be such a huge Rocky fan. But now I am addicted!!!

I Rode a Bicycle up a Mountain

You may be asking yourself why did I mention Rocky, Well, I would never have made it up the terrible mountain side if I hadn't seen the movie the day before. I tried to go 4 kilometers by bicycle to some big tourist attractions in Beppu  called “The Hells”. I didn't realise it would be all up hill the entire way (Beppu is surrounded by mountains). I rode for 2 hours and then realised I was lost, and so I kept on going up. After 3 hours in the hot muggy heat I was dry heaving! Too many nights of drinking. I eventually called quits and took the down hill slope all the way back
to the center of the city.

I got Naked and Buried in Sand

After my long bike ride, I decided to bite the bullet and try out one of these Onsen thingies. Deep down I was terrified of getting naked in front of a bunch of Japanese men. Honestly, I struggle to use Urinals because I find them primitive and barbaric! Anyway, I found one of the biggest and famous in Beppu (Takawari or something like that). It also, had a sand bath! The lady pointed me to a change room. I soon realised I was the only guy there. They make you undress and put a special robe on. The robe is like a hospital robe and is completely undone at one side. You have to tie it up well enough so that the ladies who cover you in sand cannot see your unmentionables. You then proceed into a big room that has a large sandpit. Lay down and an old lady will bury you in sand in which you stay in for 10 minutes. You may think 10 minutes is not long. But it is more than enough time. Its very hot and the sweat is pouring down your face, but you can't wipe it off. Also, the weight of the sand really compresses your chest and you can only take short breaths. You can feel your heat beat in your feet.

After you are done in the sand you then proceed to the Onsen area. You get naked (still no one around), wash all the sand off you then jump in the boiling hot bath. Now, after the long hot bike ride and the sand, then the bath, I was on the verge of passing out. The bath was so hot! I dragged myself out and couldn't walk straight. Very relaxing but very draining as well. Just as I was leaving a couple of Japanese guys came in and got naked in front of me. All I will say is that I was no longer embarrassed about going to Japanese baths when I saw those men.... read into that anyway you want haha

I was going to go to more baths after. But I was so drained after this one. That I could barely walk. I only ended up going to the 1 in Beppu. There were others that I intend to one day go too... A steam one, and a mud one, (the mud one is apparently mixed gender!! :) (Lets go Johno?)

Overall

I ended up really liking Beppu. I relaxed somewhat. Although I did sleep in a lot I was happy with what I did get done. Would definatley return to Beppu again. Found a great Yakitori (chicken kebab) place (which I should say had the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in Japan working there, who was actually Chinese!!). Maybe why I ate there so much haha. There was a
large abundance of hostess bars and brothels in Beppu. Even on the main street which was a bit disturbing. I wonder what parents tell their kids.... I find it strange that next to public places like
public baths and barber shops that they can have a big sign next door for the brothel!

I will definatley return to Beppu one day and try out all the different types of baths. I don't know if I could come with a mate though as I would not want to sit naked with them in a bath!




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