susan smitten (chu_hi) wrote,
susan smitten

Arima Onsen

I went to Arima with Don, Herbie, Kyoko, Jonas, Mike, and Gloria. It's way out in Sanda! That's an hour from my house. For some reason, I thought it was in Ashiya, which is 2 minutes from my house. Arima is way up in the hills, like a proper resort, and the atmosphere is entirely different from prissy, international Kobe. Everybody got naked and bathed for an hour, then we ate oysters and drank beer while watching one of those folk shows with the enka singers (whom Don says sing just like David Bowie) and two or three people who take turns waving their arms and taking tiny steps in their way-too-long kimono. Kyoko translated for us: "His special plate is broken. He thought it was an accident. Then his friend told him it wasn't an accident -- his friend just wondered what he would do if his plate was broken." A *really* friendly middle-aged stranger whisked Herbie away and secretly bought him a beer. After the enka, we were transported back to 1956 when 4 guys in red jackets and a lounge singer in a feather-trim zebra-stripe dress took the stage. Then it was time to get naked again and hop from bath to sauna to bath again. The rest of the afternoon was spent eating ice cream and playing arcade games. We all slept the entire way home. Gloria, like me, is flying home tomorrow, and we've both got a lot of packing to do.

As for who looks the best naked, it's probably Kyoko or Jonas. And of course Don!

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