Onsen

There are Home bath, Dento, and Onsen in Japan.

In Japan, it is said that “Onsen will come out anywhere”, as there are many volcanoes. However, it will never become an Onsen place everywhere of Japan. Because mining may fail and we need to dig more than 1,000 meters. Moreover the development and maintenance are costly.

Therefore, there are many Onsen sights in every part of Japan. In the northern part of Kyushu where my hometown, Beppu and Yufuin in Oita Prefecture, Ureshino and Takeo in Saga Prefecture, and Unzen in Nagasaki Prefecture are famous. In Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture is popular in the place close to Tokyo, there are Onsen anywhere. Of course it is also in Tokyo.

The manner of using Onsen is the same as public bath.

By the way, in Jigokudani in Nagano Prefecture, Japanese monkeys that are soak in Onsen in In snowy winter are famous. They also know how to enjoy Japanese style baths, no one tells it them.

Monkey in Onsen, 温泉と猿

Humans should also try to challenge Japanese Onsen culture.

Sento

If you get used to a Japanese bath, please try to challenge the “Sento(銭湯)” as a next step. Sento is a public bath, It’s a Japanese – style spa. One charge is less than 500 yen.

Sentou, 銭湯

Sento is a service that was born when the housing of Japan was still underdeveloped and there was no bath in each household. Even now, although baths have become widespread, there are many fans of it. Because unlike a family bath, we can enjoy the following experiences.

Large Bathtab

We can soak our body in plenty of hot water and extend our legs.

In addition, swimming and dancing in the bathtub is a violation of manner.

Jacuzzi

We can obtain a massage effect, since bubbles blown from the walls and floor of the bathtub vigorously.

Electric bath

Weak electricity is flowing in hot water in bathtub, we can receive modest stimulus.

Sauna

It is literally a sauna. There is a dried “dry sauna” and a steam filled “mist sauna”.

Cold water bath

It is a cold water bath. Immersed after a hot sauna is effective in restoring fatigue by exercise.

The basic rules of Sento are as follows.

  • We have to use it naked.
  • We wash our bodies and hair ahead of being soaked in a bathtub.
  • When we leave the sauna, lightly wash away sweat with a shower before entering the bath tub.
  • Do not soak your towel in the bathtub.
  • We can rent towels for a fee. Shared soap or body soap, shampoo & rinse type are equipped.

I hear that many foreign countries have no habit of being naked in front of people, except for young children. But if you get used to it you will not mind. Of course, you can partially hide it with a towel.

By the way, in the early 2015, a Sento opened in front of the J Park Hotel on Mactan Island, alongside the Metro supermarket. At that time, I stayed on that island, so I only used it once. But it seems that it was closed after a while. Maybe there were few customers. Because short-stay travelers will not use. Therefore, customers are Japanese English students who stay for a long time or Japanese staff of diving service.

The capital city of Japan

The capital city of Japan is Tokyo. But the definition of the capital is vague, so it is up to the interpretation how old was.

Flag of Japan, 日本国旗

Currently, Tokyo is the capital of Japan, because the Emperor lives in Tokyo and the center of politics is also Tokyo.

But some people say that Kyoto was the capital because the Emperor was in Kyoto about 150 years ago. In addition, the center of politics at that time was Edo (the old name of Tokyo).

The political center of about 1300 years ago was in Kamakura, Kanagawa.

Tsushima’s Stolen Buddha Issue

In 2012, an incident occurred in which two Buddha statues were stolen from the Temple of Tsushima in Nagasaki Prefecture. They are important cultural properties of Japan. The culprit was a Korean thief who was later arrested and convicted, but only one Buddha statue has been refunded.

Stolen Buddha statue of Tsushima, 盗難された対馬の仏像
©︎SANKEI PHOTO

The Korean side insists that “They regained what was once looted by Japan” about the Buddha statue that has not yet been returned. But there is no basis for that.

Perhaps the Korean side is based on complex thoughts on Japan. Since Japan invaded the Korean Peninsula at the end of the 16 th century and Korea was annexed to Japan from 1910 to 1945.

Takeshima Issue

Takeshima is a remote island off the coast of Shimane prefecture in Japan. Both Japan and South Korea claim their ownership of the island. Because it is located almost equidistant from Japan and Korean Peninsula.

Takeshima, 竹島
Takeshima is the place of the pin.

Under the agreement, both countries can fish in the waters around the island. But, the Korean side has base on the island and is effectively controlling. As a result, fishermen on the Japanese side can not fish there.

However, the opinion of Japan is “Takeshima is the territory of Japan”. Since it is written in the old document that it is the territory of Japan. Therefore, Japan requires the International Intermediary Court to decide its ownership, but since Korea does not agree, it has not received a trial. Because the trial requires the mutual consent of both parties.

This situation resembles the Spratly Islands in the Philippine Sea, In the point that the opposite country has ignored the trial and is controlling  effectively.

By the way, Korea occupied Takeshima when Japan was disarmed after the Pacific War.

Giri-Choco

From ancient times, Japanese have imported foreign cultures and customs and have modified it. Valentine’s Day is also so.

In Japan it was established as “A day that women to give chocolate to men and tell her love”. And the custom of “Giri-Choco(義理チョコ)” is also common. It is a social expression that gives chocolate to a man the woman often meet.

Chocolate, チョコレート

Also, women give it to friend women, or sometimes women give it to themselves. Well, that origin is no longer relevant.

Valentine’s day

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is “A day that woman hands a chocolate to a man and tells love”. It is said that this was due to campaign by chocolate maker company was success and became standard in decades ago.

In those days there were many women with discreet nature. Therefore, they accepted the concepts “You can be bold this day” actively as an excuse to do that.

Woman with heart, ハートを持つ女性

 

Comfort women issue

Japan and Korea have issues that can not be solved well.  Comfort women issue, Takeshima issue, Tsushima Buddha statue theft issue, and so on.

Comfort woman is a woman whose prostitution was forced for Japanese soldiers during the Pacific War. There was such a woman also in the Philippines. It is said that many young women from the Korean Peninsula, which was a part of Japan at that time, were forcibly taken away by the Japanese army. It is an inhuman act. If it is fact.

Certainly, women called comfort women existed. But no one can find evidence that the Japanese army abducted them. Therefore, the truth can be presumed that the local brokers gathered young women by legal and illegal means. And the brokers had mediated prostitution for the Japanese army to them. Because of necessity the military doctor was in charge of their health care. For women in that position, the Japanese army and the external brokers might have looked the same. Therefore, the Japanese side recognizes that “the Japanese army has just used a merchant”. However, the Korean side said “Japanese army and those dealers were united”.

Comfort women statue. 慰安婦像

As a matter of fact, the comfort women’s standard of living was very high, and they are told that they were living well in the war when the supplies were short. Therefore, there were many women who became comfort women themselves, unwillingly due to the circumstances of families. There was a Japanese woman prostituting for soldiers of the US military who had occupied Japan even in postwar Japan.

On the other hand, there should have been a lot of women who were forced to become comfort women without preparing at all. Many people who received poor treatment were also among them. These circumstances are very unhappy. However, unfortunately it is a common story under war in poor times.

In this connection, This issue has been settled several times in the past,  by Japan apologized to the former comfort women and paid a support fee. However, the Korean government stopped performing each time, and they broke the promise. As a result, the Japanese side says “already settled it” but the Korean side is saying “insufficient it”. It is continuing. And for the some of former comfort women who became elderly, support funds from Japan are not distributed yet.

Cosmetic surgery in Korea

There are many beautiful women in Korea. But everyone looks like the same face.

Yes, many Koreans are positive for cosmetic surgery. I heard that parents may give presents for children ‘s birthday or graduation celebration.

There are reasons why many Korean beauties look like the same face. Decades ago, a famous Japanese cosmetic orthopedic surgeon taught a Korean surgeon only one kind of plastic surgery technique. And it became a standard in Korian cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery, 美容整形手術

By the way, many Japanese have resistance to cosmetic surgery. Or Even if they want to do it, most of them changing eyelids only a little.