Onsen ikitai!

HAVE you ever been in a Japanese hotspring? I wish I could go for in for a dip right now. Body’s aching from aikido and stress…

At first, I didn’t fancy going into a tub/pool/what ever you call it naked. And being a gaijin, people are bound to stare at me (they stare even when I’m properly dressed). But I was curious to find out why Japanese love their onsen so much.

My chance came during a trip organised for the international students at my uni (we were quite pampered, yearly trips FOC). My fellow Malaysian Coy was an old hand at this so she was of course my sensei. “Aku tak tengok engkau, kau tak tengok aku.” Hehehehe.. so we sat side by side rinsing ourselves by the onsen pool, eyes anywhere but each other. I accidently saw a grandma coming out of the pool and instantly regretted it.

Anyway, when we’ve finished rinsing, Coy lead me to the pool, both of us had Good Morning towel covering our front. My first reaction when stepping inside was “damn, it’s hot!” Seriously, it was boiling. But gradually I relaxed and oh man was it heaven.

Different regions have different kinds of minerals in their onsen water. There are those with water white like milk and some are a bit smelly. Don’t ask.

Usually at a hotspring resort, there will be a pool for families, female/male only and for the more adventurous, the mixed pool (never been in those). You can also ask for a room with your own onsen pool. That’ll cost a bit but worth it if you don’t want anyone to ogle at your (ahem) endowed chest or any other body parts.

Back to the story.

I usually do not stay longer than 30 minutes or I will pass out (yup, that happened once). Too much of a good thing I guess. However, the body feels so good after a dip and I’ll be v relaxed (translation: lazy to do anything but eat and sleep) in the evening.

Man, wish Malaysia’s own hotsprings are like those in Japan. I’d be driving up to Perak once a month if it were…..


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