The Japanese Ahh-nsen
Trip Start Sep 15, 2010
29Trip End Jul 23, 2011
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And what better way to unwind than to try a Japanese onsen? These traditional bath houses utilize natural hot spring water and are something the Japanese proudly consider native to their culture.
On my first day I found one tucked away in a small alley of an older section of town. Before I took three steps past the main door, the front desk attendant started banging her fist against the counter because I forgot to take off my shoes. After quickly removing them and purchasing my ticket, I entered the women’s locker room wide-eyed and cautious
At first I felt self-conscious, but my cares quickly melted away once I sank into the dark brown, mineral-rich waters. At 109 degrees, it's hard to think about anything anyway.
Once sufficiently relaxed, I decided to check out the various jet massagers. After trying two for the back, I saw a smaller tub across the pool that looked like a similar option. Wrong again! It turns out this doodiddy is an electric bath designed to simulate swimming with electric eels. Yowzers! I felt like I was being microwaved alive. I lasted two seconds and lept across the pool. All the ladies just started laughing and nodded knowingly.
I planned to spend the entire afternoon soaking and steaming, but after an hour I was wiped. Suffice to say, I happily achieved a state of nirvana the Japanese call "yude duko" ... boiled octopus.