« Train to KagoshimaMainTurning Japanese »

Asses of Fire

The following day I caught a train to the onsen, or hot spring, town of Ibusuki with Shinya, a Japanese guy whom I'd met in the guesthouse. There, we had a huge noodle lunch sitting on tatami mats in a small restaurant I would have missed as all the signs were only written in Japanese script.

We continued on to what the town is famous for - burying people in hot volcanic sand. After changing into robes we walked out to the beach where a team with shovels were waiting to bury us. The whole area is very volcanic - signs warn you that going swimming in the sea at low tide can cause burns; the hot spring water gushing out of the sand is 80c. Being buried feels a little strange. The hot sand is very relaxing, however, and I could have fallen asleep if my arse hadn't soon begun to feel like it was on fire. Ten minutes is the recommended cooking time, after which you proceed to traditional Japanese style communal baths. These basically involve soaping yourself up whilst sitting on a small stool. I went to check out the sauna to see how it compared to Finland, and it was the first sauna I'd ever been to with a big television inside it! There was no way to throw water on the stove, however, as it was all electronically controlled at a constant 79c.

I left the spa feeling like my circulation had been given a good workout, and so relaxed that I slept all the way back to Kagoshima on the train.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)