Thursday, May 5, 2011

Worth every penny

Remember how we mentioned once you’re willing to spend money in Japan that life becomes so much better? Well, we sucked it up and decided to splurge on a day and a night at a Sanga Ryokan in Kurokawa, renowned in Japan for its onsens (natural hot springs). Hot baths are something of a ritual in Japan, which we first discovered in a local Kyoto bathhouse. You begin by sitting on a bucket (naked, of course), soaping and showering to remove any dirt, and only then submerging yourself into a hot tub. Being naked around strangers is something that the Japanese are quite comfortable with and, once you get over the initial awkwardness, it’s actually kind of freeing. Anyway, we were experts by the time we got to Kurokawa and the setting was much more natural: outdoor pools surrounded by trees and rocks with hot spring water pouring from bamboo pipes. We languished under the majestic sky while the steaming water washed away our travel aches. Tia even got up the guts to join me in the “mixed” bath, where two older Japanese men politely averted their eyes while she got in.

Every touch of Japanese service was perfect, down to our bathrobes that made us look like lounging samurai and the tatami mats on the floor where we slept. Finally, we were treated to a traditional kaiseki dinner, which had an endless assortment of mostly unrecognizable foods. Unfortunately, while some of it was incredibly delicious, the net effect is that Japanese is no longer Tia’s favorite cuisine. Must have been the raw horse meat…

No comments:

Post a Comment