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Showing posts from November, 2006

Bathing and Smiling: The Do’s and Don’ts in a Japanese Bathing House

I was in Asahi-ku for my usual four hour bath time at a local sento called Asahi Family Kenkoland . This place was well-known for having yellowish water, a100% onsen source, and an excellent Swedish sauna which had two heaters instead of the usual one heater. This was good cause’ this made the room really hot, I mean so hot you could barely even sit down on the bench towels. Even the clock on the wall showed signs of heat exhaustion with its discolored long hand and warped side frame.
The usual tired old Japanese men, oyajis, stumbled and shuffled into the sauna after last nights drinking party, nomikai , only to discover this huge, black, sweaty, grizzly looking African American guy sitting there sweating it out to the sounds of his breath, and while staring back at them with his squinted one good red eye, because the other one was soaked full of sweat and stingy, he grimaced as sweat dripped from his c…