Dillon, outbound to Japan

Onsens. Hot springs. Japanese bath houses.

So, I went to a Japanese bathhouse yesterday and it was… interesting.

For an American, the thought of stripping down and bathing with other people is not a pleasing one. But once you actually get into the Onsen, the thought kind of just slips your mind as you start to relax. I went to the outside Onsen, which was more like a hot spring, because it was secluded and peaceful. It was about 3 feet deep and was in the shape of a circle with the circumference of about 15 feet. Half of it was covered by a beautiful bamboo roof but the other half was not, and that's where I sat.

It was raining, just like it has been for the past 4 days, but instead of it being a pesky annoyance, it was tranquil, being about to sit in a hot spring but still being able to feel the cool drops of rain trickle down my face. After leaving the hot spring, we headed to an upstairs room where people could sleep and listen to classical music, which was also VERY peaceful. As I lay there, my host brother was listening to music of his own through headphones and my host father brought us banana flavored milk that I enjoyed very much.

After sleeping for about an hour and feeling completely refreshed, we went to a sweets shop where we each bought a slice of cake and I had the privilege of trying Matcha Mochi, a green tea flavored Japanese sweet. It was one of the best sweets I had ever tasted.

Transport about 4 hours and I am now in the kitchen helping my host parents make Gyozas (pictures included). My host father said that he hid an almond in one and who ever found it would receive 500 yen ($5) but no one ever found it which makes me suspicious. As we were eating, my host parents turned on the radio to a USA rock station and they had all good music and I was singing along to every song; we had a blast! Well that’s what happened yesterday, August 16th, and I am enjoying everyday. I can’t wait to see what the future hold for me!