Well, we ventured out of Tokyo to a little town called Atami which is located on a peninsula that is famous for its Onsen’s (hot springs baths). We are staying in a “traditional” style Japanese room called a Ryokan. The room is beautiful and overlooks the sea. It has tatami mats covering the floor and a small table (for dining) in it with four chairs (with no legs) with pillows on them (I told you, traditional!). At night the room transforms to a bedroom (I just hope we don’t have to do this transformation because I have no idea where this table and legless chairs are supposed to go! At any rate, there is a closet in the room that has nice mats (like futon mattresses but much better than the ones you may have had in college!). These Onsen’s are very popular among the Japanese as a place to go and relax. I regret to inform you that you will not be hearing about my experiences at the Onsen as I will be opting out of this one. You go nudie and there are very specific instructions
Not only do you go nudie but you must first scrub yourself down (full on nudie) while others are sitting there in the bath and then you waltz your way in. This is not relaxing to me. My ideas of relaxation do not involve sharing hot lava water, nudie, with a bunch of strangers.
We did try out something onsen-ish. Outside of the Atami train station there is a foot bath that is fed with water from the hot springs. We put our feet in there. See, we did it! The water was scalding, and when we got out it looked like we were wearing red sox because our skin had turned red/burned. A Japanese lady looked at my mom’s legs and grabbed one of them and said something in Japanese (she was clearly shocked by the red skin socks! This further solidifies why I do not need to get in one of these things nudie. There are some parts that do not need to feel the burning inferno temps that these hot springs pump out.
When we were shopping around in the town outside of the train station we found this fantastic honey store. We sampled many varieties and finally settled on a few that were absolutely delicious. I will be bringing home mango honey and maple honey. My mom got a different kind, but I’ll let her surprise you all!
When the rain finally stopped we decided that we would try to the beach (from the train station). It said that it was 800m away. After walking for what seemed like miles I decided that the “m” is not meters but is miles. We never reached the beach, in fact we kept weaving back and forth and after all of that walking I’m pretty sure we progressed about 3 feet. I’m sure the beach is beautiful from up close. Perhaps we will find it tomorrow!
We sat down under a tree to wait for the hotel shuttle, when it was near pick up time we got up and I saw something fly off of/out of my mom’s jacket. I looked at where it landed and it was a huge cockroach looking thing. For the next 20 minutes I felt like I had prehistoric Japanese bug/creatures crawling on me. The size of that thing was offensive!