Today was our day off between trainings and the weather was not cooperating. I had grand plans to go to Kamakura but Myriam decided a nice warm onsen would be much nicer. After a little research I found this tourist attraction onsen right in Tokyo called O-Edo Onsen Monogotari which loosely translates as the “Great Edo Hot Spring Tale.”..I know…maybe it’s a Japanese thing….
The onsen is a bit tacky tourist but I have to say – we had so much fun! First of all we found out that the posted price was reduced for their 7th anniversary so we got another 1000 yen off the regular entry ( 2900 yen) .We were like little kids giggling at every thing. We got to pick our own cotton yukata ( type of kimono) and sash ( which took us forever to decide on a pattern) and then we entered into the little town under cover they created. If you have ever seen Hayao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away it reminded me of that. I wonder which strange kami I would have been….
There are all sorts of shops and restaurants inside with prices comparable to places outside so you don’t feel like you are getting taken advantage of being inside the facility. They have a system set up with an arm band with a bar code on it so everytime you want something- food, massage, gifts, – you just swipe your arm and the whole thing gets tallied at the end when you leave. It is a little dangerous though because you may spend more than you planned..( right girls..??)
The baths are very nice and they have outside baths as well, segregated for men and women. It was glorious to feel the rain come down and be outside neck high in hot water and sitting on rocks. It wasn’t Hakone but it was great in its own way. My dream is to travel to outside onsens all over Japan. Japan’s precarious relationship with nature is what creates these hot springs, but you sit in them you look around at the trees and flowers and admire nature’s other more delicate sides. Something very tantric about that….
Just a note here to all my yogi friends : if you have a small tattoo you can cover up you should be OK but big tattoo’s are not allowed in most public baths in Japan so be aware of that before you go.
Many hours of soaking, scrubbing ( akazuri) and oil massage later, the three of us filled up on sushi and miso soup. It was a lovely slow, luxurious day. I will have a good sleep tonight……