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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

public nudity

after a big fiesta last sunday, a friend and i decided to go to the onsen. well, we actually planned this ahead but i was never sure if it would push through. but yeah it did. lucky! i never planned to invite male colleagues and i strived very hard to get them out of the plan. i am not in my perfect shape to be seen naked just yet. oops... i guess i should have mentioned first that people get naked once inside the onsen. it is not a rare practice: getting naked that is. japanese people get naked even in the dressing rooms, how much more inside a public huge hot bathroom. there goes my queue for what an onsen is (^o^)

after getting lost for about 3 minutes, we found the place. i wasn't expecting it to be on the 3rd and 4th floor of a mall though. who would have thought this is possible? my first onsen was near a waterfall, my second was on a spacious almost desserted part of the city. and now, on a mall? how convenient! and how varied these places are in.

1500 for the onsen and another 700 for the rock bed sauna, not bad for high priced tokyo living. men and women have separate rooms for the onsen. though there are others which have mixed bathing, people usually don't get naked in these cases. so that means that i'll be seeing lots of dangling objects for this one.

it was my first in this place so my friend and i decided to meet back outside (with full clothes on) after 15 minutes. deal! when i went in the men's, first thing that came to view was the dressing area with all the lockers for the clothes. along with the lockers were the naked men. i was expecting this much. it really has something to do with the custom i suppose, i was carefully slowly getting off my clothes while people around me are rushing to get them off. peeling off my clothes but my undies, i inspected the towels received from the front desk. one big, for drying self after getting wet. and another small, the only piece of cloth allowed inside the wet area. i can still remember the first time i went in in an all naked onsen; my japanese colleagues told me that the small towel is usually soaked in cold water and placed on top of your head to keep your head cool, at least. they even said that those who walk in covering themselves with the towel usually gets stared at. knowing this, i took off everything and walked in proud. in all naked glory... not before a little panic attack earlier when i couldn't lock my closet. ;)

first thing you have to do once inside is to splash a dipperful of hot water. this gives your body a hint of what to expect. and then, enjoy! as for me, i dipped in some water which turned out to be so cold that i immediately got out. this gave me a hint that the sauna room is near. and it was. i went in and was not expecting the heat at all, i sat in some area and covered my privates with the towel. :) i must really be stupid, did i just mention that the towel is used to keep you cold at least in some parts? but i was there sitting... with a dry towel on my lap. gosh!

it must have been 8 minutes before i went out. had no intentions of looking at all but these naked men's privates are within eye level as i sit. i had to go out. that silky white tub is the next victim. this one is pretty comfy. just when i was about to take a nap, i remembered the 15min deal. shucks i'm enjoying this too much. off i went and put on some clothes for the rock bed sauna.

downstairs i went dressed in pre-provided clothes to this huge holding area with 5 rooms. each of these five rooms are saunas with different rock bed. the first was a big slab of rock embedded to the floor (more like a marbled floor to me). you have to use another towel as a mat for you to lie on. this room at 46 degrees was fine for me. the second room had small pebbles to lie on. this is the noisy room, the pebbles make a noise every you lie on or get off them. these pebbles are pretty hot at 48 degrees room temperature. the third had baby fist sized white stones. this is the hottest room at 56 degrees. the other 2 rooms had normal room temperature and 6 degrees cold. i never entered both. instead, we went back in the small pebbles room. incredibly, these rooms had different ambiance each. the 1st one had a heavy dark solid feel to it. the pebble room had a japanese garden aura. the 3rd felt like crystal mines with wooden slabs as floor. i would have wanted to get in the 6 degrees room but we were to go back up to the onsen, i'm afraid my body might get confused whether to stay hot or keep cool. all in the 1 hour or more spent in these stones, i must have sweat 1 liter. my pre-provided clothes were soaking wet.

now back to the onsen. both of us agreed to meet after another hour or so. so there i went back in and was greeted by lots of dangling objects once again. this time, i tried the salt bath sauna room. this one was located outdoors. yes, the onsen had a quarter space of outdoors (on the 4th floor of the mall). the salt sauna has a little different than expected. if the one inside had a boxy, wooden, modern feel to it, the salt sauna outside had a more rugged, rustic feel. once inside, the first thing you'll notice is the fog or mist, i'm not sure exactly, but something enough to block part of your vision. then you will notice the large jar of water immediately in front once you are in. and then you'll realize how small the area is with around 10 max capacity. good thing i was following someone, i just mimicked what he did. he first splashed water to one of the 10 inverted clay pots as seats, to get rid of the previously seated person's sweat i suppose before sitting down. a moment later, i realized the large jar of salt on the opposite side of the water. i would have liked to try it but i didn't, so now i'm regretting it a lot. this is one thing i would try if ever i'll be back. i lasted for a good 10mins in there.

the outdoors part had 3 more pools but all are occupied so i went back in to the jacuzzi. it was in there that i realized that not all japanese men are comfortable being naked. some are covering their dongs with the small towel all the time. or if not using the towel, then using their hand itself just to keep a bit of their privacy. but others just don't care, even sitting on one leg hiding nothing. i tried 2 more things, the best of which was that one with pressured water hitting your back, legs and feet. it is like a massage of some sort.

i then ended it all with a bath, still inside the area free for lurkers to see. free shampoo, conditioner and soap is a big plus. :D

there goes my first onsen this time around. and i would like to come back sometime soon. i would have wanted to take pictures but x-rated pictures are not allowed in here right? wahihihi... just search for japanese porn if you are interested with the dongs. and yes, they are uncut. bwahahaha.

till next time.

pics taken from, the exact place we went to.

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