Bailey’s Fun With Hot Springs…

Posted on 07. Dec, 2009 by Bailey in Blog

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Hey ATV fans, Bailey here. Thought I’d let you guys in on another very famous Japanese custom: Onsen (Hot Springs). Now, I keep hearing what wonderful, relaxing things these onsens are, so I decided to try one out last week. My friend and I took a very long train ride to Shima Onsen which is famous with ryokans (Japanese style inns with attached hot spring baths). In theory, they seem quite awesome…but in actuality they are a test in embarrassment. As you may or may not know, onsens baths are taken in the NUDE. You can wear a towel if you want…except the one they give you is very tiny and doesn’t actually cover anything. First you have to wash yourself (ala Tom Selleck in “Mr. Baseball”) in front of everyone and then get into a crystal clear tub where you are still quite exposed. And in some instances, the men’s bath can see INTO the women’s bath. I vote for no bueno. So what was in theory a relaxing and enjoyable thing ended up being embarrassing, confusing, frighting, and exhausting.  Should you try one if you come to Japan? Maybe…they are fairly cheap. Should it be on the “To-Do list?” A resounding NO!

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4 Responses to “Bailey’s Fun With Hot Springs…”

  1. Ryan

    16. Dec, 2009

    This is a very interesting post. I just finished watching Love Hina and was curious about the whole hot springs thing. The girls in Love Hina were usually wearing towels. Were the towels you used similar?

  2. Bailey

    17. Dec, 2009

    The towel that was given to me was about the size of a hand towel…so for a girl you would need approximately 7 of them to cover everything. I was told you aren’t allowed to wear your own big towel in the onsen, but you can buy one. But I didn’t see a single woman there wearing a towel. I think it’s more common if you are in the men/women shared tub.

  3. Herman

    17. Dec, 2009

    Oh, come on. Loosen up! I didn’t realize you were so puritanical, Bailey. No one is there to ogle. They are there to soak in the hot springs. And eat and drink a lot.

    Give it another try. Stay away from the “Family Buro” if you are shy! :)

  4. Anna

    08. Jan, 2010

    Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t have an awesome time. You have to admit, though, that the rotenburo (the outdoor bath) was pretty awesome. And it was just us in that one!

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