The weather still sucked today, so Nozomi and I decided to visit an onsen. An onsen is a japanese hot spring and they are said to be really relaxing and healthy. more or less a must-visit when you’re in Japan in my opinion, but you may judge that for yourself after this article 😉
We chose the Yuba-Onsen because it was only 3 train stations away from Nozomis flat. As the price is only half of the normal price after 15:30, we also aimed for that time. Our station to exit the train was Takashima, which was already a pretty rural area, there were nearly no big new buildings to disturb the image of this part of Okayama. It felt, like time had run a little slower here in the last decades. But please look for yourself what I mean.
After about half an hour of walking we reached the Yuba-Onsen. I was a little bit disappointed from the outside to be honest, as I had expected some small traditional place. Instead this building looked like an architectural crime from the time of the bubble-economy in Japan.
But you should never judge a book solely by its cover and so we went inside (as if we would have turned around after the walk to this place xD). As you just saw, the entry looked kinda ok again. Inside, we had to leave our shoes in the entry room and stashed them in a locker.
Each one of us was handed a blue bag with two towels and a two-part yukata. As the onsen are separatet between men and women, Nozomi and I had to part now and Now my collected knowledge of some Japan-guides (mostly Baedeker and ‘Gebrauchsanweisung für Japan’ by Andreas Neuenkirchen) came to be handy. At first I had to change from my clothes into the yukata. I think I’ve never been sexier, to be honest B-)
In my hot outfit, I then had to go downstairs with the two towels after I had put my clothes into another locker. Of course I couldn’t make any photos from here on. Downstairs, I had to get out of the yukata and put it with everything else into a small basket – except for the smaller of the two towels. This was needed in the washing room, where everyone had to clean himself before going into the onsen water. In Japan, bathing is for relaxation, not for cleaning. And you really have to be thorough about cleaning. At least if you wanna do it right like the older Japanese. The younger men seemed to take it a little more lax with the rules there :/
And the onsen water… amazing! It might be really warm, so that staying in there longer than 15 minutes without a break is tough, but these 15 minutes… they rock! I haven’t felt so extremely relaxed for quite some time. Just lying in the hot water and doing nothing is great. I’d like to go there every day now, but 700Yen per day just for the entry won’t work (even though that is far cheaper than in german spa-centers). It had different indoor pools with different temperatures and lying positions and also an outdoor pool with a small roof and a nice garden. You’d all have liked it there for sure 😀
So now I’m pretty relaxed and happy (’cause I skyped with Ruth ten minutes ago, which I waited for half the week ) and am probably going to bed soon. The plan for tomorrow isn’t fixed yet, but it may involve some game center invasion 😮