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Onsen fanatic

Written on: Saturday December 8th, 2007

A journal entry from: Trans-Siberian

Our second attempt to get to Beppu was successful (the first time we ended up at this random seaside town which we can't find on our map). Beppu is a natural springs spa town, so our first call was an old traditional onsen. The procedure is after entering the male only bath, you strip. Then filling up a bowl of water from the onsen, you wash yourself while sitting on what can only be described as a potty. After washing you jump into the onsen, well jump is maybe the wrong word as the water is 45 C you end up gingerly lowering yourself in and trying to keep as still as possible. What is strange is that afterwards, your body feels totally relaxed but your heart is racing like you've just finished a run. It can be abit disconcerting. In the night we went around a few pubs, bumping into a bloke from Leeds who took us to see a band whose lead singer was from Pembrokeshire, very random.

Next day we walked out of the town and quarter of the way up a nearby mountain to a restaurant whose owner is a onsen fanatic. Basically as your lunch is being cooked you sit in an onsen overlooking the town and coast. Not a bad life...