My stay at the hostel was a pretty eventful one I should say. Lots of surprises, good and bad and some funny experiences of which one particular "experience" is something I can never forget.
The "bathing ritual" . I am not sure how many foreigners who have never been to Japan know this but there is this system of a "common bath" in the country. Since we lived in a hostel, we had a common bathing area for all the occupants of the hostel. You can imagine our plight when we were asked to use that for our daily bathing. The thought itself was so dreadful that we promised ourselves we were never ever going to even try it, no matter what.
After much ado, we finally found a way around the torture. We took bath in turns, with one person standing outside the "ofuro" door and making sure nobody else entered when one of us was taking a bath....and we did that for the full one year we stayed there. Thankfully, most of the Japanese girls living in the hostel understood us quite well and were very cooperative (except one, but that was OK)
It was not until a couple of years back that I have come to understand and accept this practice of communal bathing in "Ofuro", "Onsen" or "Sento", and surprisingly I love every bit of it now - the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of leaving Japan is "Oh...i am going to miss the Onsens" ...:) strange..eh?
You really need to try going to one to understand what I mean.
Why the practice? Japanese believe in the virtues of "naked communion" (裸の付き合い hadaka no tsukiai ), a practice wherein people are stripped off any unnecessary barriers that may inhibit free communication. They feel that this way, without any pretense or show, we have no choice but to be our true selves.
To comment, please log in with your gmail account ID.