Arima Onsen 2: Initiation to the Onsen

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“Could I put a paper bag over my head or wear a bathing suit?”

“If the people with illness go to onsen and become well, does illness remain in the water?”

“Is the brown water safe?”

“What’s the use of a face towel if it’s my body I want to cover?”

Those were some questions I had since it seemed like an Arima-onsen visit was looming with a Kobe itinerary.🤣

Arima-onsen is very famous for its healing hot springs, the yellow brown “golden spring” or the “silver spring.” One is for muscle and joint pain relief and the other is for supple skin. The water color depends on the richness and variety of its mineral content. My Japanese friends all rave about onsen experience and Rica told me she experienced significant pain relief after she tried it.

I told my guide, Toshiko-san that I wasn’t sure if I would have enough courage to try it and she said I didn’t have to decide until we got there. She showed me onsen rules just in case:

  • Soap and wash yourself thoroughly before entering.
  • No clothes.
  • Don’t wash your towel in the hot spring.
  • No swimming nor running.
  • No photographing other people.
  • No tattoo.

After a very relaxing Kobe beef lunch right in the middle of the woods and a walk through the mountain, it seemed the perfect opportunity to try the onsen once and for all. After paying the lunch bill, with the change, the staff gave a hand-towel sized onsen towel—- it comes with the meal.

The march to the basement which has the access to the women’s bath was so suspenseful. I figured I could back out anytime. But when I went, there was just a small child with her mother. They were not Filipino so I felt comfortable that they don’t know me.

At The Lodge Resort, the women’ onsen is separate from the men’s. There is a locker area at the changing room to leave everything behind except locker key. A lot of large towels available but only for use after the onsen bath.

At the pool prep area, it was like a special salon except without any mirror; there was a row of bath seat sets with matching shower heads and gigantic bottles and each of liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner… as if saying, “there’s no excuse not to clean yourself before going in!” The water is really very, very hot. After a while, it becomes comfortable, even soothing. .

The next problem is how to sneak getting out of the water. Just had to pray for courage and go!

You can also book this tour through Voyagin.

Ephesians 5 26 to make her holy, cleansinga]”>[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

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