Onsen ((温泉): A hot spring or other communal bathing facility
Train delays in Japan? Unheard of!
Except when there's a freak typhoon and your train is delayed 5 hours on a 5 hour journey!
Eventually, we arrived on the southern Japanese island of Kyūshū, in the coastal town called Beppu. It's the Onsen capital of Japan, hence our desire to visit.
As everyone knows, I'm keen on the odd hot tub, so I was super excited about trying out an Onsen (a hot spring bath). The bit I wasn't so keen on was the getting naked in front of lots of random Japanese women.
Our hotel had separate male and female onsens on the roof overlooking the ocean, and I went in the super early morning to minimise how many people I'd have to expose myself to.
There was a mum and her young daughter who were just leaving as I was getting ready... Having a tiny Japanese girl staring at you doesn't really build one's self esteem!
But in the end, it wasn't so bad... I pretty much had the bath to myself, which was perfect.
To complete our traditional Japanese experience in Beppu, we stayed in a traditional Japanese room. This means all of the furniture is on the floor - the beds are fouton mattresses, the chairs and table are all without legs, and the floor itself is a woven mat. It felt extremely authenthic!
The breakfast was unfortunately also traditional Japanese, with some extremely random western food thrown in to compensate (spaghetti bolognese for breakfast, really?).
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