Japanese Bathtime Wisdom

I began writing this post from the comfort of one of those coin-accepting massage chairs that sits in the lobby of a hotel that I never stayed at.

I had spent the previous hour outside in a state of mental isolation while soaking in the steaming, mountain-spring water of an onsen in a small town in Hokkaido. …accompanied by four naked elderly Japanese men.

My kind of night.

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The town of Sounkyo in the Japan’s Northernmost Prefecture.

It was only fitting that I finish my self-love session with a cheap 10-minute. chair massage – it lasted 40 minutes. [Only 100 Yen ($1) for 10 min!]

It was in the unexpected and complete relaxation at having finally felt the touch of another (whether the source be animate or not is unimportant), I came to a revolutionary epiphany. I decided that I am buying a hot tub.

It will not happen this year. It may not happen next year. It likely won’t even happen in five years. But, mark my words, one day I am buying a hot tub.

And, it’s going to be placed on a balcony, overlooking a mountainside, at the end of a secret passageway, which extends from behind a bookcase in my circle library. Oh yea, and I’ll have a fireplace in that library. And a pet crow named Archibald that fetches me wine from my cellar! Muahahaha.

I will do all of this just to capture the pure bliss I experienced at that Japanese bathhouse. Sitting in the pool only neck deep, so that my face could remain exposed to the brisk, late-afternoon air, triggered a calm in me that I’ve never before experienced. This, paired with the stunningly imposing mountains resting only 500 meters away, was pure magic.

Plus the naked Japanese elders brought me champagne and salami whenever I snapped my fingers. (Pun intended.)

My only regret is that I was unable to get a picture of the onsen view for you all.  Unfortunately, guests to the hot springs are not permitted to bring their phones in because there has been a serious epidemic of “Peeping Tommery” in Japan recently. It’s so serious that you are not even able to disable the annoying camera sound on Japanese phones anymore.

This was done to dissuade creeps from taking photos of others in public places. But I have an American phone, so this doesn’t apply to me.

I didn’t want to upset the naked Japanese elders though, so I refrained.

People in America do this all the time anyway. I can’t even count the number of “train-hottie photos” my friends and I have sent each other.

For the record, I have never used the term “train-hottie” before today.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s that there is likely a photo of you on some strangers phone, somewhere. And it’s ok. Unless they are building a shrine to you in their basement. In which case, call the police.

And if this upsets you, just take the next plane to Japan and relax in an onsen for awhile. Your worries will magically disappear, just like a ninja.

Get it? Ninja – Japan. Ninjas are in Japan….ok.

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Here’s a picture of Sounkyo Shrine to make up for my blogging fail.

Until next time,

-Phil

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