Onsens are the places to be in Japan. Whole vacations are planned around the best ones. No place inspires as much terror for a first-timer, yet once you've been, it is one of the greatest parts about living here.
The onsen is a public bath, divided men and women (usually, I've heard scary stories from missionaries who've been here longer than I). Think large naked spa, more than high school locker room.
I don't have any pictures of the actual onsen we go to (for obvious reasons) . It's pretty much like this, but with ya know... people)
Once you get over the whole "I'm naked and people can see me!" thing, it's a nice time of relaxation.
Here's a better picture. I think we're getting closer.
Since Japan was formed by lots of volcanic activity, there are a lot of natural hot springs. You can take trips to towns that have sprung up around the springs (bu-da dum). There are also basic onsen in each little community.
Here we go! Nicer than the one we went to, but a good image of onsens in Japan.
( click the image link to read the wiki article, if you're interested)
Stephen and I took Jillian to our neighborhood onsen this weekend. We didn't stay long since wrangling a slippery baby kind of cuts into the relaxation element for me. I think Stephen had a nice time on his side of the wall though.
|Outside the baths, we were able to snap a pic of our little bathing beauty, squeaky clean and warm in her jammies.|
Would you ever go or have you ever gone to an onsen? Any funny stories to share? Leave me a comment.