Public bath? I have to think about that.


Onsen ritual

Of the many things I was able to experience while in Japan, can’t wait go to back by the way, was the public bath. My wife told me long before we went that she had expected me to participate in this ritualistic event. This was the first time I was to meet her entire family so we, had to take a bath together? Of course I had asked many questions about what it was like and what I had to do. And of course being American, was anyone going to see my penis? I don’t make a habit of showing just anyone. She teased the hell out of me about my questions of course. She kept telling me that more than likely, they had probably wanted to check out my penis. Not in any weird way, but to just “see it”. A particular day while driving around in Japan with the family we had passed by a bathhouse and we turned around to go back. I asked what was going on and my wife said “We just passed a bathhouse so we are going.”. I was half asleep in the car at the time but woke quickly and asked “Right now? As in we are going now? I am not mentally ready for this!”. Her parents laughed at me and thought I was being a child so we waited.

Needless to say I was nervous about it. The reason she expected me to participate is that we all were to go to Onsen for a couple days. Onsen is the Japanese term for a hot spring or even more to the point a bathhouse inn or as such fed by a hot spring. Technically however I don’t think all bathhouses are fed by a hot spring only onsen. There are many bathhouses scattered all over the place. Mostly easy to spot just because, to me anyway, they had this indoor pool type of building familiarly about them.