Thursday, 12 January 2012

Lets get naked..

PhotobucketToday I left Tokyo and headed for Kyoto. I took a Shinkansen (bullet train) because its the fastest way to get there and although its really expensive I promised myself one bullet train ride. My GPS track tells me that we reached 279.47 km/h.

So I arrived at my hostel in the Gion district and while checking in I got chatting to a couple of Australian girls who were just waiting for a friend so they could go out for the afternoon. "Would you like to come along with us?" they asked. I had no plans yet for the afternoon and was travelling alone at this point so I took them up on the offer and threw my rucksack in my dorm and returned to the reception area. The girls and their friend were buying a bus ticket from the hostel reception, so I picked one up too.

We left the hostel and went to the bus stop. "So where are we headed?" I asked. "We are going to an onsen, you and Mike are going to be best friends", they replied. If you don't know, an onsen is a public bath, normally based around natural hot springs, intended to be enjoyed naked. Awesome!

We arrived at Funaoka onsen. What have I got myself into this time I thought as Mike and I walked into the mens changing room. I bit the bullet and stripped off. Eyes front and centre we entered the onsen area and went separate ways. After a shower I got into the first bath. They had a few different baths including one that was like a jacuzzi, another which seemed to have an electrical current running through it and an open air bath outside. It was uber hot and I stayed in there for about an hour before I almost passed out.

Having spent almost an hour surrounded by naked Japanese guys and Australian Mike who I'd met 2 hours ago I returned to the changing room and donned my clothing once again. I reclined and drank a can of Pocari Sweat while I waited for the others to finish.

PhotobucketWe went back towards the hostel and planned to go to a tea ceremony, but unfortunately we were too late to get in so we just went and had dinner and then took a walk around Gion before retiring.

PhotobucketFound a restaurant called "25 year old Paul" - pretty random!

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