Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The next best thing to lying on a beach

Believe it or not, I was buried in sand today.

It was National Foundation Day in Japan. I don't know exactly what that means, other than a day off work!
So Mayla, Liz, Jemma and I decided to do some relaxing.

We drove a couple of hours south to experience something different -- a sand onsen.

"Onsen" is a Japanese word for a hot springs public bath. They are very plentiful and popular throughout the country. If you'd like to read more about them, check out this article.

I have been to an onsen twice in the last six months, but had never even heard of a sand onsen until two days ago!

I'm hesitant to show you this picture because I think I look like a beached whale in it, (eeps!) but it's the only one I have of the experience. Besides, it took the entire time to get this photo because the camera lens kept fogging up from the humidity! Anway, here we are...

Of the 15 minutes covered in hot sand, the first 10 were nice. During the final five minutes I was thinking, "I'm burning up, and I'm stuck this way! Get me out of here!" Sweat was literally dripping down my face, and that hardly ever happens.

I had already burst out of the "sand blanket" by the time this picture was taken. Originally, our arms were covered in sand, too -- everything except our heads. We'd all had enough by the end.

But I'm glad I went to the sand onsen. Even though it was HOT, it was a cool experience. :)


Lauren said...

That looks like lots of fun and relaxing too, except for getting to hot!
Love ya!

Dawn said...

I think I would have burst out of the sand quicker than you did - now laying on top of the sand might not have been so bad. Hope it was relaxing on your day off.

Jennifer said...

Interesting!!! I have never ever seen anything like it. Is there another purpose to this besides relaxing? Is is supposed to be a weight loss technique? Skin therapy? I hope you enjoyed it. How many holidays or special days does Japan have that allow you to get off work? Seems like more than there are here.