Thursday, June 10, 2010


The onsen is part of the Japanese culture that is also on my list of things that would probably not work in the states but I have come to love it. It was quite an odd experience at first but now I have embraced it for what it is! For those of you that don't know what an onsen is, it is a public bath. Normally separated into the 2 sexes, you are able to relax in pools of different tempatures, some with bubbles, some scented and some extremely cold! Some of these places are even perched up on a hill overlooking the ocean. The kicker for most people is that in these public bathes, everyone is completely naked. Now before you completely nix the idea, let me explain how great it is.

Let me just tell you, it is extremely awkward to walk into the locker room seeing many Japanese women in varies stages of clothing. It's hard not to turn right around and walk straight out of the building. Understanding that this is a cultural experience is the only thing that keeps me there. No matter how awkward this might seem to us Americans, the Japanese find it quite relaxing and once you can get over the nakedness it really is! Being able to move from one pool to the next of different temperatures is like having several hot tubs at your finger tips. If you like bubbles, you are welcome to find that pool. If you like the sauna, there is one of those too. There is also what is called a salt room. So many options to enjoy.

Something that I have concluded after accepting and finally loving the onsen is that everyone has something they don't like about their bodies. God made us all quite different and thats OK! If we are able to be comfortable in our skin then I think that our self-confidence would skyrocket. Especially in America, we are so focused on how we look and what we wear that we forget that those people we want to be like are just people too and they also have imperfections. The onsen is quite the experience but I would love to share the experience with several in the States. My first victim is Mary when she comes to visit me in November. I've already given her the heads up and am excited to see how she likes it.

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