Finally, the Onsen (hot spring) season is here!
It doesn’t mean that onsen is not enjoyable in seasons other than now (because onsen is enjoyable ALL season).
(For example, this one here, is an onset trip in the middle of hot sunny summer to Jigokudani. I swear, I didn’t realize they were naked people before in this picture. No, don’t try to zoom it in……….)
OK, back to the topic…
where was I…
It means that, onsen is even more and more and more… pleasurable from this point, as the weather is turning cold and colder…
Just picture this:
“As your body is getting used to the 40 degree Celsius temperature of mineral goodness, you started to feel comfortable and relaxed… Hugged by the warmth of the onsen.
And each time you feel that cool autumn breeze swaying your bare shoulder, you dipped even more into the onsen… while the fluttering momiji (maple leaves) falls around you… ”
“Your body is freezing and the flurry snows touches your naked skin every once in a while. As you dip your self into the water, you feel that contentment from the disparity of your icy cold skin meeting the heat of rich minerals of onsen….
OMG. Take me there already!
Onsen is mostly public bath, unless you are staying at a ryokan (Japanese style hotel) and reserved a onsen tsuki kyakushitsu (room with a pool of onsen at your very own porch).
Therefore, onsen has some house rules, something like this:
Mostly, you are gonna have to bring your own small towel.
When I go to onsen, because I am a girl, asides from two small towels and changing clothes, I’d bring my hair comb, make up kit and something to tie my hair up. When I am exaggerating, I’ll have my fav shampoo and conditioner with me. All jewelry off btw. And on those shark week, we can’t go to the onsen.
Some places have lockers that can be locked if you put a 100 yen in. I put my valuables there. Other times, I’d just leave my stuffs in the car or in the room and just bring the clothes, towel, hair tie and comb.
Rules are basically all the same: First, strip yourself naked (unless its outdoor or mixed bath or you’re told otherwise) and strip yourself clean by washing yourself with the provided soap and shampoo until you’re squeaky :). And, perhaps not to be too loud, because, well, all of us are kinda trying to relax here.
There you go, you’re set!
Note: The pictures above are from the stays at hotels with private onsen at the porch, because, well, you are not allowed to take pictures inside public bath 😀