posted on Friday, November 21, 2008

Onsen Camping!


Onsen camping might not have made it to Wikipedia yet but it will soon!Anyway the passion for Onsen (hot spa) in Japan means that not only one can spend a few hours switching between all kind of baths, saunas and hot stones but also stay for the night! And `camping onsen` refers to the fact that in the morning one doesn`t feel he has to rob a bank to pay the bill, even in expensive Tokyo! Edoyu (江戸湯)in Ryogoku is one such place. Last night for the second time I paid a visit and spent a night pampering even though I could have done with a bit more sleeping...
Yumiko decided to come with me for a few hours and stayed there until 10pm then I was left on my own experiencing all the fun that a onsen night can bring!
We started with a visit to the hot stones where one wears a pijama and melts slowly on hot marble beds. There the first interesting people appeared. A youngish couple having a row with the young woman constantly bursting into tears and dehydrating so fast she had to keep going out and get a drink. Yumiko eventually told me she figured out what the drama was; seemed like she was upset for having found some suspicious emails on his phone...
Despite the lack of sleep I find it so interesting and original to stay in a onsen overnight that I don`t mind to sacrifice some for the comfort of sauna, jacuzzi, bath etc...
Yesterday was snoring competition night and I was the unwilling referee....
Up to midnight it was quiet with only a light snorer lying somewhere nearby...but then it all changed!
Snorer number two, a pro, came in and decided to lie down on the chair on my side. He started his night watching hot movies... (yes...didn`t know they had them but seems like a few channels are for that...) So the first sound to disturb me was of a `action movie`, but then he switched off and the competition started and nobody stood a chance! In five minutes he was fast asleep, warmed up his vocal chords and up to speed, snoring so loud I thought he would take off any moment...Snorer one also thought he had to respond but couldn`t quite match him! I could only laugh at the constant ranting and people around started to get up, staring at the culprit and probably trying to figure out if there was any switch to turn down his volume or whether suffocation was the only way out!
That is meant to be the quiet corner by the way....In a while one by one everybody lying around there got up and moved to another side or like me another floor!!! Then finally fell asleep for about 3 hours as it was very quiet there, all I could hear was a timid fart from a guy across the other side, blissful silence...finally!