Way Of Bath
Way Of Bath
Bathing is truly a unique experience in Japan.
I never thought about the art of bathing while growing up in Central British Columbia, when as a child, I was taking my weekly bath on Sunday evening. Jump in, scrub up, wash off the soap (yes, while in the same water one soaped up in is where one also rinsed)
No showers in those old Canadian houses.
The concept of bathing in Japan is significantly different from those long-ago and distant memories from Canada.
First of all, the Japanese always wash themselves BEFORE getting into the clean bath water; Make sense to me.
After one has scrubbed all one’s grub off outside the tub, it’s time to soak in the Japanese style tub, which is considerably deeper than those in the west.
A different concept from the west, often the mother and fathers bath along with their children, even into elementary school ages.
Bathing Japanese style can also be a communal event.
Actually, just the other day, I was visiting my friend, and he also happened to have a couple of guest from Kyushu as well.
Now, I had never met these people before, but in the next morning, it was decided to jump in the car and go to a Japanese style inn where they have a big public bath.
Stripped down, and off we go the three of us, having a great time scrubbing up, and then chit chatting while lounging in the outside wooden bath while viewing the surrounding mountains.
Nothing quite like a bonding session with a new acquaintance while sitting stark naked with the other men in a bath tub!
This old Japanese inn also had some delicious items on their menu and we all enjoyed an excellent lunch of blowfish and fresh mountain vegetables after our bath.
You can see the public baths around Japan, in hotels, traditional inns, and new super spas where they have party facilities and entertainment as these places continue the Japanese Way of Bath.
Dear reader, as one experience the Japanese bath, one will understand the ritual of bathing in Japan entails much more than just the mundane task of washing oneself. Bathing is an event and experience to be appreciated as an aesthetic daily act, with the byproduct of that is to become clean, not only physically, be indeed, with a cleaning of ones own heart and soul.
I hope one will have the opportunity to experience that Japanese bath in the Land Of The Rising Son.