If you ever come to Japan, I would strongly recommend visiting an onsen, which in Japanese means “hot spring”. The only notion I had regarding onsens was what I saw in the anime movie, Spirited Away, where evil spirits roamed around.
When you first enter the onsen, you take your shoes off and put them in a locker that uses a block of wood as a key. Then you buy the ticket and enter the locker room. You leave all your clothes and belongings in a locker and bring a small bathing towel with you into the bathing area. Luckily, women and men have separate bathing areas, or this onsen experience with Kevin would have been extremely awkward.
The bathing area had a sauna, steam room, giant hot spring pool, individual jet baths, a cold pool and a “get fit” pool. In the “get fit pool,” you supposedly lose weight when water pushes you around. I thought it was extremely uncomfortable. Surrounding the inside bathing area were individual shower stations where people sit on a small bucket in front of a mirror and wash themselves with soap and shampoo. Outside was another hot spring and also a pool where people walk in circles to do laps. In the lap pool you usually find elder people or people with injuries.
All this lack of clothing and openness was was a lot for me to take in, especially since I was with six of Kevin’s girl friends.
After a while, I was able to relax and fully enjoy myself. I would definitely go back again.