Public Bath House 2008
I went to a public bathhouse and let me tell ya, it's an interesting and not that bad of an experience.
For one thing, you gotta get over your shyness being neked FAST because as soon as you step in to the Women's dressing area, you are around women with no shame to BARE IT ALL!
Robyn asked me to come and Adrianna tagged along and I:
1) I wanted to say I've been to a public bath
2) It was her last two weeks here and so if she wants to teach me the ropes of Public Bathing, I'll let her.
It wasn't bad though.
The biggest insecurity I had to get over was undressing in the locker area with all these other strangers around me but honestly, it wasn't too bad. Everyone else is getting undressed and if someone stares, just stare RIGHT BACK! Heck, you can actually walk through semi-proudly because most the the women there were older so you can be proud that you were still perky :P
I know, horrible but what can I say? You've got to find something to focus on other than your own nekedness.
After you prance through the locker room, you slid the door open to the washing area where you bring your soap, towel, etc to get clean. They provide a bench as well as a bucket for filling and rinsing off. There's a mirror as well as a shower head but there is this push down button for the spout to dispense water (mainly for the bucket).
Now, it's probably different depending on where you go but they should at least have the same basic equipment from place to place.
Generally, you wash from head to toe, and you can even wash you hair if you choose. They provided body wash and shampoo at this place for free but like I said, it might differ from place to place.
I forgot my towel so I had to go to the vending machine and buy one for 500Y or roughly $5.00.
So you wash up, afterwards, you can go and sit in the pools which are so nice especially during the winter, when it's especially relaxing to warm up while surrounded by the crisp night air.
So, I take like a good 30-40 minutes pre-wash before entering the baths because I've gotta wash my hair and bush it out (great opportunity here because you can use as MUCH water as you like for only the entrance price, 600Y). Heck, if I wanted to do that back at home, my gas and water bill would probably add up to 6000Y (yikes!)
After I finish, I walk outside and it's COLD but I hop into one of the pools and may I say, it was REEEEEAAAALLY NICE!
There were 4 different types of pools to choose from here and the biggest one would generally be 40C degrees. I think the medium sized pool was about the same temp but the smaller ones that were for individuals and were a nice warm temperature that you can just lounge in for a long time. The last pool was reset your body temperature and cool you off. It was about 18C or about the same temp as outside...okay not that cold but COLD.
After hoping from pool to pool, we got out and dried off. There is a mirror area and they have hairdryers, mouse, gel and everything you can think of just to get ready. I get dressed and dry my hair and I felt good!
I leave feeling clean, warm, and happy I've got a new towel. I recommend everyone should try the baths at least once if you're going to a country that has a bathing culture.