Continuing our ‘southern’ hemisphere tour: the onsen

Onsen are Japanese hot springs and they’ve featured in SL Naturist before, away back in 2012. I thought it might be time for an update on these bath houses as they do feature nudity, and because it also allows us to examine the naked cultures of the south(ern hemisphere). Yes, yes, yes, I know Japan isn’t in the southern hemisphere, it’s actually on a similar parallel to Spain or the northern states of the USA, but I think that when we exit Europe (or north America) we often tend to think of ourselves as ‘heading south’, and it’s the reason why I will be including ‘the Far East’ in our winter tour of ‘the south(ern hemisphere)’.

I know I’m playing fast and loose with the earth’s geography, but it makes some sense, to me, to include Japan and its attitudes to nudity, in our ‘winter tour’ (alongside S.Africa, Australia, Brazil et al). As the winter progresses we may also include the Indian sub continent (northern hemisphere) in our ‘tour of the south’. So please don’t write in to say ‘you do know Japan/India etc are actually in the northern hemisphere’. Yes, I do know.

20081105132134

tumblr_nsdgtnP4Av1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nu6iz7xzMl1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nweudmKP341u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nwm7qc8cHr1uj4ugto1_1280

tumblr_nxbbzosItq1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nxnn79Dqdi1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nxylzwZTlb1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nybj3bHjER1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nycayhgZXr1uj4ugto1_1280

tumblr_nyk4dq8pia1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nyktutAri01u9rob7o1_1280

 

I’ve tried to include ‘real’ photos of onsen, and part of the elaborate washing and bathing rituals involved, a task made difficult by the internet’s preference for ‘posed by models’ photographs and almost entire absence of males, who also use onsen.

The etiquette of using an onsen is explained on this page (external link), and also in this video

A further video explains why tattoos are a ‘no no’ in onsen.

434daf5587dc9c8924c7ceb3165bc2dc

Sai No Kawara-Kusatsu is the largest outdoor bath in Kusatsu. The natural spa is one of the most prolific outpourings of hot water of all the hot springs in Japan. The springs produce sulfurous spa waters with high acidity that are said to be effective against neuralgia and skin diseases. The town has been a popular destination since the 13th Century.

Sai No Kawara-Kusatsu is the largest outdoor bath in Kusatsu. The natural spa is one of the most prolific outpourings of hot water of all the hot springs in Japan. The springs produce sulfurous spa waters with high acidity that are said to be effective against neuralgia and skin diseases. The town has been a popular destination since the 13th Century.

461710-74f097ce-0f95-11e3-9fbb-38c20355d6ea

87178112-exotic-culture

1381510801000

IMG_4553 (2)

onsen 4

Women-at-Outdoor-Onsen-300x224

It’s hard to know just what the exact etiquette is regarding nudity. Some sources say that mixed onsen are available, others suggest the bathing is segregated.

ofuro_pubblico

Onsen-4-washing-cubicles_-_20071009

tumblr_lr85heKPvw1qjvgvdo1_500

tumblr_m2rx5g5DaI1ro1f2qo1_1280

tumblr_mwktw6ohML1sv7leio1_1280

 

The onsen is a popular build in SL, with a variety of locations to enjoy them. The photographs above show numerous beautifully located onsen, and the SL builds are no different, uniformly being photogenic sims.

I began at the Sabai Sabai onsen, where males and females can pick up free towels (for both body and head).

sabai onsen_001b

sabai onsen3_001b

I confess that I was so confused by the conflicting opinions about nudity in the onsen that I…erm…checked out a user, hahaha, and yes, he was using the onsen as nature intended! Others arrived and waded in, although I noted that the ladies tended to use the onsen wrapped in the free towels while the men generally went nude.

sabai onsen4_001b

sabai onsen5_001b

 

sabai onsen6_001b

sabai onsen7_001b

 

tumblr_nnwy4r373G1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nul6fzOcXt1u9rob7o1_1280

tumblr_nvzt5klQFd1u9rob7o1_1280

 

I moved on to the Empire Paradise onsen, which had a very realistic washing area, such as those shown in real life photos further up the page.

empire paradise onsen 10_001b

empire paradise onsen 11_001b

empire paradise onsen 13_001b

 

311

empire entrance_001b

Note how the entrance at Empire Onsen closely resembles the entrance to a real life onsen.

There’s a number of other onsen around the grid, but I’ve just picked a couple to give you a sense of what they look like and how they resemble the real life equivalent. I’m off to explore a bit more of Japan (in Second Life) before joining up with Trine again and jetting off somewhere else, hopefully this time properly in the southern hemisphere!

Abigail

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Continuing our ‘southern’ hemisphere tour: the onsen

  1. Pingback: Continuing our ‘southern’ hemisphere tour: the onsen | Nomad, Geek, Nudie

  2. Pingback: Onsen – slfkk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s