Yup, that was Japan.
Somehow, I’m naive and although I’ve heard that public baths are nude, something just didn’t click in my head as I trudged along trying to find this place. When the airport staff mentioned hot springs, my mind filled with glorious images of soothing muscles and me relaxing.
Even when I got there, after a couple mix-ups with directions and train staff, I still didn’t get it. Why I sometimes don’t think is another story….even as I paid for lunch and the admission fee which was only $10 (I thought it would be $40 or something pricey since I was in Japan!), nothing clicked. I thought towels etc. would be found in the change room….
Only when I saw several naked ladies and noticed the LACK of towels did I slowly realize that this would be a nude event.
Now why am I so self-conscious? I guess this comes from my VNese background where we don’t show ourselves to others. I’ve never been one to love the shower room at public pools and I don’t exactly enjoy seeing others in their natural state, especially ppl I know.
But I already paid, so I just went for it. It was weird seeing women hanging with their friends and chatting as if we were in a beauty salon.
The facilities were very clean and there were several options for bathing: two saunas, hot tubs, cold tubs, an outdoor section (well enclosed, I might add), large pools, sun decks, and sitting showers. It was impressive and fine…..once I got over the nudity. Would I do this again? Hmmmm…..
As was to be expected, my parents flipped when I told them. Why did I tell them? Again, lack of judgment and thinking resulted in a bad decision. But it’s part of Japanese culture so that’s a plus. Still, I’ll take my sushi 🙂