I have spent a large percentage of my time in Japan butt naked. I know it’s only been two weeks, and it’s summer, but even for me the amount of nudity has been extreme.
Anyone who has ever lived with me will know my opinion on pants (hate ’em) but out of deference to my housemates I have usually worn clothes of some kind–even if it is a zebra print playsuit.
Now that I live alone, I’m just naked the whole time I’m in the house. Part of it, of course, is to do with the outrageous heat; as soon as I walk in my front door I immediately take off all my clothes and turn the air conditioning to high. However, even after I’ve cooled down, I choose to remain in my nuddy pants. It’s just very relaxing.
However, one of my favourite things about Japan is the onsen–the public baths–which give me a chance to share the nudity experience with a room full of other women.
You go in and pay your entry fee, put your shoes in a locker and go into the gender segregated rooms. You then get totally naked and stick everything in another locker there, then go to the bath rooms. There are little shower heads along the wall (I’ve only been to more modern ones, I think older ones just have buckets in a tub of water) and you wash yourself totally clean before wandering over and getting into a super hot pool with all the other ladies. There are a few pools of different temperatures and you just trundle about getting in and out of the pools, soaking and getting funny looks from children. Well, I get funny looks, I don’t think any of the Japanese women do.
I thought it would be totally awkward but it’s super chill and really relaxing. The one I went to the other day had some outside pools and I just sat and looked at the sun over Shodoshima (Japanese Mediterranean) and felt happy.
Mistranslation of the day:
Three girls, maybe a little younger than me, approached me in the onsen. We did our greetings (I live in Takamatsu, I’m an English teacher, they live in Kobe, they are students) then they asked me if I was there alone.
“Oh no, I’m here with some friends, but they are boys, so they are in the other room.”
“Oh, so so so… Boyfriend!”
“No no, just friends. Three boys.”
“Ohhhh” *cue wide eyes* “Three boyfriends!”
Despite my best efforts, they were convinced that I was there with my three boyfriends. They giggled behind their hands and I gave up.
If I really had three boyfriends I might have an excuse to be naked as much as I am, but for now I’m happy just chilling naked in my apartment.
Like right now.