Wednesday 7 December 2022

Misunderstanding a natural hotspring from a man made hot spring or Onsen in Japan.

Heading to Hot Spring, at least that is what I thought.


Hot springs in Papua New Guinea 

Hot springs in Japan.

If you are from a tropical region you will be familiar with the word hot spring, right. 

During my first-ever trip abroad from my country Papua New Guinea. I came to Japan and stayed in Sapporo city in Hokkaido.

As a newcomer, I was adjusting to the life and culture of Japan. Many things were very strange to me.

One weekend, one of my Japanese language classmates invited me to go to what he said was a hot spring.

Coming from a country where volcanoes and hot spring is abundant. One would quickly in their mind conclude an image of beautiful natural hot volcanic water bubbling out under the ground creating a marvelous hot spring of water ponds and steamy creeks, right.

That is what you would imagine but in Japan, it was the total opposite.

One weekend I  followed my Vietnam friend to what he said was a hot spring.

We meet at Hokkaido University International Student Exchange Center and cycled there.

After cycling for at least 20 minutes, we arrived at a large building with a lot of cars parked outside. We parked our bikes and he said to me, we are here.

I was not sure what he meant. I was still expecting to see a volcano or boiling hot water coming up from the ground.

We then went inside the building and made our way into the locker room. This is where things get funnier.

In the open locker room, I was still not sure what to do. While I was standing there trying to figure out what is going on. He started taking off his clothes. There were other people inside too and they also took off their clothes. There were a bunch of naked man standing and moving around.

I looked at him and he said what are you waiting for, hurry, hurry. So I took off my shirt and jeans and said I'm done but he said, come on, take off everything. we are going to take a hot bath ..hehehe.

At that moment I realized my mistake. The hot spring I imagined has nothing to do with a natural hot spring in Japan. This is simply a public hot water bath and the water is heated with gas. I am doomed, I thought.

Next:  ... I will explain what an Onsen /hot spring in Japan is .....

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