Onsen

Onsen is a Japanese hot spring bath often used for public bathing.  There was an onsen at a local hotel and we called in to have a look to see if we wanted to try it.  We were not allowed to take photographs but were unchallenged when we walked through to the spa area.  The first room was a changing room and then there was a showering area where you sat on a low stool with a shower hose and washed yourself.  The next room was a series of tiled bathing areas, one hot, one cold and one full of mineral water (a floating pool) and a jacuzzi.

What put us off was the fact that you had to be stark naked to take the baths, not even a towel – men and women had separate facilities.  There was a warning in English as well as Japanese stating that your towel should be left in the changing room and to avoid letting your towel come into contact with the bath water.  

We read another notice in English about spa etiquette which at first did not make a lot of sense.

 Although most of it made no sense at all, the last sentence “In our company you refrain from Ms Pregnant woman’s operation” we think meant, no sex on the premises!

The hotel foyer and public rooms were enormous and there were lovely water gardens running down to the lake.  There seemed to be very few hotel guests.

 

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