Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Services in Japan Part 4

services - SENTO
I wun really consider Sentō to be a service, I'd view it more like a culture thingy in Japan.

Where customers pay for entrance to use these communal bath houses, "some Japanese find social importance in going to public baths, citing the virtues of skinship in Japanese... others go to a sentō because they live in a small housing facility without a private bath or to enjoy bathing in a spacious room and to relax in saunas or jet baths that often accompany new or renovated sentōs..." - wikipedia

I would certainly love to relax in saunas and jet baths... but bathing in very spacious rooms and with other men side-by-side... HELL NO.

below: you bath yourself clean first before entering the dip... Fanservice for the ladies...
*stop staring at the asscrack!*

services - ONSEN
"Onsen (温泉) is a Japanese term for hotsprings, though the term is often used to describe the facilities and inns around the hot springs. A volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth. Onsen were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism" - wikipedia

below: I am definitely gonna try this out if I have the chance - get a little monkey to scrub my back... these monkeys are probably the luckiest guys in the world~

If you do read the article from Wikipedia, there are outdoor onsens as well as indoor onsens; outdoor onsens are termed "Rotenburo (露天風呂)" or "Notenburo (野天風呂)". "Baths may be either public run by a municipality or private (内湯) - often run as part of a hotel, Ryokan (旅館) or Minshuku (民宿).

services - KON-YOKU
A simple google for the term "mixed bath" online and I found a very good... ahem - Weekly Playboy article by Geoff Botting, on The Japan Times Online. Full article here.

According to the article, the number of mixed hotsprings, called kon-yoku in Japanese is dwindling at an alarming rate... driving the thousand over years old tradition of mixed bathing towards extinction.

"Keita Oguro, the author of a series of konyoku guidebooks, doesn't have the exact figures but reckons that about 50 of the 650 resorts he wrote about five years ago no longer allow men and women to mingle in the bath..."

"They have become women-only or they've put up physical (gender) barriers..."

"The magazine puts the blame on a number of factors behind the demise of the konyoku tradition. Among them is a 1991 guideline issued by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, advising hot-spring resort operators to refrain from allowing males and females aged 10 and older from bathing together..."

"As a consequence, new businesses that want to offer mixed bathing don't get approval. Furthermore, when operators transfer their businesses to their children or when the bathing areas are renovated, applications need to be filed with the local public-health departments. That's when the operators are told to stop their mixed bathing..."

...The travel industry is also part of the problem. According to Oguro, travel agents have been energetically promoting group rentals, whereby organizations or large groups of friends reserve entire resorts for themselves, thus making the baths unavailable to romancing couples..."

below: was emailed this some time back... was told its some Japanese firm's annual company tour as part of 'welfare activities' for their employees to get to know one another...
below: well they sure got to know one another really better after the trip...
Kon-yoku for you? The Japan association for kon-yoku here; and a pretty informative site called Onsen express here.

"The main problem, according to Tadanori Matsuda, founder of the Japan Hot Spring Research Institute, is the lecherous attitude of an increasing number of single male bathers... "

"Such guys, he says, see mixed bathing as nothing more than an opportunity to gawk at naked women... "

"Some will position themselves facing the exit of the women's changing room and some will sit in the bath all day, carrying water bottles so they don't dehydrate," Matsuda says."

"He and other onsen watchers have noticed a sharp increase in these perverts in recent years. More and more resorts, meanwhile, have been forced to respond by setting up the gender barriers or barring men all together..."

below: if you find yourself staring for over 3.22 secs, you add on to the statistics of the increasing number of lecherous single male bathers... fanservice for the guys...

"Mixed bathing, whereby complete strangers could enjoy hot springs amid calmness and harmony, is a distinctive feature of Japan," Matsuda sighs. "It has a history of at least 1,300 years. It's outrageous that some mindless people are destroying this tradition..."

Q: gonna get a girl fast so I can bring her to Japan for some Konnyaku (jelly) and Konyoku... (^___^)

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