Yes. An Onsen is that hot! We went in expecting a jacuzzi, but came out feeling like cooked lobsters. 😆 Like I stated in one of my earlier blogs… Jeremy and I had wanted to use the couples Onsen, but it was occupied, so we set off on this adventure alone!
When I walked into the Ladies Onsen there were wicker baskets on my left. I assumed this was for my clothes… and there were also cute graphics hanging on the wall to show what to do. 😉 I took off all of my clothes and grabbed another (smaller) whisker basket to put my towels in, and then headed to the bath section.
There were 3 rooms. One for taking your clothes off and two that had Onsens inside of them. These two rooms were divided by sliding doors. At the time I showed up, the rooms were empty! So, I had plenty of time to make mistakes without anyone there to see me!!
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of these things… but I’ll do my best to explain everything in detail and show you pictures from the Ryokan’s website and/or similar photos to what I experienced.
I headed into the first Onsen room. In the corner there were a couple areas next to shower hoses… really close to the ground. 😳 The area had a stool, shampoo, conditioner and (what I guessed was) lotion. I would’ve probably felt really awkward had anyone else been in there with me. I did the shower thing as quickly as I could before someone did show up! Plus, it was a little chilly.
(Quick side note: you must take a shower before getting into an Onsen… shampoo, conditioner… soap… the whole 9 yards. If you don’t it’s very nasty to Japanese people and they will not sit next to you or get out…)
I’m not sure what I expected… but I walked over to put my foot into the water and it was hoooooooooot! Like… not just normal hot, but “third degree burn” hot. I was hella determined to get my white butt in there though. I use the descriptive word “white”, because that’s most certainly NOT the color I was when I got out! Holy moly!!
I noticed that there was a faucet that had hot and cold symbols on them. I turned on the cold faucet. There was no way I had time to wait for it to cool off the entire Onsen though. It was way too big. “Man up, cupcake!” I said. I noticed (what I imagined to be) big ladles laying around the rim of the Onsen. I picked up one and started pouring the burning water onto different parts of my body.
I thought that if I poured some onto my body before submerging myself, I’d get used to the water. I was wrong. 😆 But I climbed in anyway… very quickly. I sat next the the faucet with the cold water coming out and wondered how anyone could possibly find this relaxing. I was very sure that it was scorching my skin off. I sat there as long as I could (5 mins tops) and hopped out quickly.
Jeremy pretty much had the same experience in his Onsen, but he didn’t submerge himself. Here’s what his looked like:
Even though we had weird/unpleasant experiences our first go around, we woke up at 5am to beat everyone else down to the Onsen and got the couples bath!
It was much smaller than the others and we were able to make the water colder. It felt more like a jacuzzi. 😉
Apparently, Americans are too wimpy for scorched skin. 😆 whatever…. :). The Japanese win this one!