Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Embarrassing Mistake at a Japanese Hot Spring

Most adventurous, bath-loving foreigners in Japan have a few stories of embarrassing, sometimes ignorant, blunders while naked in a Japanese onsen. A visiting friend from the United Kingdom made a faux pas that shocked many hotel guests and hotel staff. He became a naked wandering foreigner.
The comfortable outdoor bath of the Senami View Hotel sits at the base of the rear of the building, which faces the beach. Sitting in the clear, heated mineral water, one has first-row seating at the ever changing dancing of three powerful partners: sun, sky, and sea. A fence on each side of a green lawn provides privacy, and as long as one stays close to the bath, no one in the hotel or on the beach below a gently sloping hill can see you in your natural unadorned state. Both of us were lulled into the nonthinking bliss of a good hot spring.

My friend, in his nakedness, decided to wander over to the trees at the edge of the lawn and sand for a closer view of the beach. He was unaware that he was visible to everyone looking out the windows of the hotel rooms and main lounge. At that time, I was lost in the meditative release that soaking in a great bath brings to me. After a few minutes, I decided, though, to join him, but as I stepped away from the bath and towards the sea, I noticed viewers in the windows above and quickly ran like a duck back to the privacy of the bath. When we later left the hotel, my friend was sure that people in the lounge were smiling at him in a strange manner. If you visit hundreds of baths, as I have, you are bound to have some interesting, sometimes shocking, experiences.  To read about some of my best and worse experiences with Japanese onsens, click this link.
Entrance to the simple indoor and outdoor baths of this pleasant hotel cost just 540 yen. The Senami View Hotel is not as famous as some of the other Japanese hotels and ryokan in Senami Onsen, Murakami, so if you go in the mid-afternoon, you may find yourself with the baths to yourself. Situated along the coast and facing the west, the bath allows views of spectacular sunsets when the sky is clear. The Senami View Hotel is not among the best hotels in Niigata, but it gives value for its money. Murakami has a wide variety of luxurious hot springs, foot baths, and hotels and you should try them all! Perhaps, the strangest hot spring in Niigata Prefecture is down the coast between Murakami and Niigata City.



Most Disturbing Hot Spring Experience (Sexual Harassment)

Sexual harassment is a terrible experience for anyone to undergo, and it happened to me at a hot spring. It had been a wonderful day of hiking and experiencing nature in Northern Japan during autumn when the mountain foliage turns the colors of fire. At the end of the day, my wife and I went into a hotel with separate hot spring baths. She went to the women’s bathing area and I to the men’s.

I was sitting alone on the wooden deck of the outside section. My back was leaning against the outside surface of a gyumonburo, which is a small round tub for just one person, when a young boy of approximately thirteen years old walked in my direction, smiled at me, and climbed into the bath that I was leaning against. His behavior struck me as odd.

Men in hot springs often sit close together, but that is when there is not open free space. Otherwise, it is a violation of personal body space. I decided to move to the other outside bath that was shaped like a rectangle. The boy immediately joined me on the other side, so that we were facing each other. He was staring at me, which children living in the countryside sometimes do to foreigners. I decided to close my eyes and concentrate on the hot water.

Shortly afterwards, I opened my eyes. He was touching himself. I saw the head of his penis protruding above the surface of the water like a periscope or an image of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. He smiled at me. I thought about shouting, but thought again. I am a fiftyish foreigner. He was a young Japanese boy in his home country. If there was a problem, he could say that I was bothering him. Most people would believe him, and my Japanese wasn’t good enough to convince people otherwise.

I fled into the washing area, and the boy, with his flag still raised, followed. Several people were there, but no one said anything even though missing the boy’s excited state was impossible to miss. The boy sat near me again and started soaping himself. I left and settled into another bath. He would, I thought, get the message and stay away. When the boy sat near me once more, I rushed to the dressing room, dressed quickly, and exited.

While waiting for my wife, I reflected on my feelings. Although, I hadn’t been touched, I felt violated. I had felt powerless, too, because I feared that no one would believe me. The boy, most likely, was emotionally disturbed, but believing that didn’t make me feel better. I remembered the story of a female friend who caught a man who had climbed a fence to stare into the women’s bath. Another woman had told me about a man exposing himself to her on a train. The one positive result of this incident was that I now better understand the feelings of women who, in general, are more often sexually harassed than men. - See more at: http://www.expatsblog.com/contests/304/the-seven-best-and-the-worst-experiences-of-a-hot-spring-addict-in-japan#sthash.KTHd2Kdw.dpuf

Most Disturbing Hot Spring Experience (Sexual Harassment)

Sexual harassment is a terrible experience for anyone to undergo, and it happened to me at a hot spring. It had been a wonderful day of hiking and experiencing nature in Northern Japan during autumn when the mountain foliage turns the colors of fire. At the end of the day, my wife and I went into a hotel with separate hot spring baths. She went to the women’s bathing area and I to the men’s.

I was sitting alone on the wooden deck of the outside section. My back was leaning against the outside surface of a gyumonburo, which is a small round tub for just one person, when a young boy of approximately thirteen years old walked in my direction, smiled at me, and climbed into the bath that I was leaning against. His behavior struck me as odd.

Men in hot springs often sit close together, but that is when there is not open free space. Otherwise, it is a violation of personal body space. I decided to move to the other outside bath that was shaped like a rectangle. The boy immediately joined me on the other side, so that we were facing each other. He was staring at me, which children living in the countryside sometimes do to foreigners. I decided to close my eyes and concentrate on the hot water.

Shortly afterwards, I opened my eyes. He was touching himself. I saw the head of his penis protruding above the surface of the water like a periscope or an image of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. He smiled at me. I thought about shouting, but thought again. I am a fiftyish foreigner. He was a young Japanese boy in his home country. If there was a problem, he could say that I was bothering him. Most people would believe him, and my Japanese wasn’t good enough to convince people otherwise.

I fled into the washing area, and the boy, with his flag still raised, followed. Several people were there, but no one said anything even though missing the boy’s excited state was impossible to miss. The boy sat near me again and started soaping himself. I left and settled into another bath. He would, I thought, get the message and stay away. When the boy sat near me once more, I rushed to the dressing room, dressed quickly, and exited.

While waiting for my wife, I reflected on my feelings. Although, I hadn’t been touched, I felt violated. I had felt powerless, too, because I feared that no one would believe me. The boy, most likely, was emotionally disturbed, but believing that didn’t make me feel better. I remembered the story of a female friend who caught a man who had climbed a fence to stare into the women’s bath. Another woman had told me about a man exposing himself to her on a train. The one positive result of this incident was that I now better understand the feelings of women who, in general, are more often sexually harassed than men. - See more at: http://www.expatsblog.com/contests/304/the-seven-best-and-the-worst-experiences-of-a-hot-spring-addict-in-japan#sthash.KTHd2Kdw.dpuf
Most Disturbing Hot Spring Experience (Sexual Harassment)

Sexual harassment is a terrible experience for anyone to undergo, and it happened to me at a hot spring. It had been a wonderful day of hiking and experiencing nature in Northern Japan during autumn when the mountain foliage turns the colors of fire. At the end of the day, my wife and I went into a hotel with separate hot spring baths. She went to the women’s bathing area and I to the men’s.

I was sitting alone on the wooden deck of the outside section. My back was leaning against the outside surface of a gyumonburo, which is a small round tub for just one person, when a young boy of approximately thirteen years old walked in my direction, smiled at me, and climbed into the bath that I was leaning against. His behavior struck me as odd.

Men in hot springs often sit close together, but that is when there is not open free space. Otherwise, it is a violation of personal body space. I decided to move to the other outside bath that was shaped like a rectangle. The boy immediately joined me on the other side, so that we were facing each other. He was staring at me, which children living in the countryside sometimes do to foreigners. I decided to close my eyes and concentrate on the hot water.

Shortly afterwards, I opened my eyes. He was touching himself. I saw the head of his penis protruding above the surface of the water like a periscope or an image of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. He smiled at me. I thought about shouting, but thought again. I am a fiftyish foreigner. He was a young Japanese boy in his home country. If there was a problem, he could say that I was bothering him. Most people would believe him, and my Japanese wasn’t good enough to convince people otherwise.

I fled into the washing area, and the boy, with his flag still raised, followed. Several people were there, but no one said anything even though missing the boy’s excited state was impossible to miss. The boy sat near me again and started soaping himself. I left and settled into another bath. He would, I thought, get the message and stay away. When the boy sat near me once more, I rushed to the dressing room, dressed quickly, and exited.

While waiting for my wife, I reflected on my feelings. Although, I hadn’t been touched, I felt violated. I had felt powerless, too, because I feared that no one would believe me. The boy, most likely, was emotionally disturbed, but believing that didn’t make me feel better. I remembered the story of a female friend who caught a man who had climbed a fence to stare into the women’s bath. Another woman had told me about a man exposing himself to her on a train. The one positive result of this incident was that I now better understand the feelings of women who, in general, are more often sexually harassed than men. - See more at: http://www.expatsblog.com/contests/304/the-seven-best-and-the-worst-experiences-of-a-hot-spring-addict-in-japan#sthash.KTHd2Kdw.dpuf