The Inordinate Pleasures of the Ehime Onsen (Sponsored Post)
Bathing is a primal pleasure that Western culture has greatly overlooked. Eating right and exercising right have all come to the forefront of our daily goals, while showering and bathing remain relegated to intermediaries, things to do between other stuff.
Though we are not to blame. In days of climate change and drought, sometimes even a five-minute shower can feel decadent. Which could be to the detriment of our wellbeing.
If you have ever enjoyed sitting down in the shower, either on the floor or with a chair, and letting the day’s stresses wash through you or lying in a bath for hours, gradually adjusting the temperature in short bursts of hot or cold, until your fingers and toes swell up and prune – then Japan is for you.
Enter the onsen. Onsens are traditional Japanese public bathhouses, usually centred around a hot spring (see sento for tap water). The apparatus generally involves a combination of showers, tier temperature baths, both indoor and outdoor, hot tubs, saunas, and electrified water pools (apparently it’s good for your back). Blissfully spending hours transitioning between different baths and showers promises to rejuvenate the weariest traveller.
And if you a really dedicated to the cause, which you will be, in Ehime prefecture lies the Giza of onsens, the Dogo onsen. Over 1000 years old, this three-level hot spring has granted pleasure to the naked bodies of princes and emperors, and thousands of others from all walks of life through the epochs of time. It is traditional and ornate, and once you go, a quick dip under the shower before work will never feel the same again.
This post has been presented by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, but all thoughts and opinions are the author’s own.