DAY 49: Getting sautéed in a Japanese bath house

19 Oct

SCOURING the Sunday supplements for something to do this week, I read Kate Holden’s account of going to a Japanese bath house, where she registers with satisfaction: “pink, clean, clean, pink bodies”.

I see my first such specimen immediately upon entering the women’s changing rooms. Glowing pinkly from all four cheeks is a lady with just a hand towel a-top her head. Eagerly, I take off my own clothes and saunter about naked like I do this sort of thing every day.

Despite being all ready to go nude in front of the world, I have the bath and sauna to myself – which winds up being a relief, as I find myself struggling to breathe in the heat of both. I must be some excessive kind of wuss: I can’t stick more than two minutes in the sauna before my eyeballs steam up and my blood pressure goes through the roof. In the tub, I’m stewed to the gills, with my kidneys nicely browned on either side.

Then comes the shiatsu, administered upstairs once you’re safely robed up again. Pretty sure that’s a foot in my back, but I can’t be sure because there’s a towel over my face. Cunning. “There are two weird points on my body you’d better not touch,” I warn the practitioner as she turns me over – because I’m liable to fling a knee towards someone’s jaw if they go anywhere near them. Fortunately, this lady’s got a steady touch and navigates the Valentish escarpments without reefing us both.

Keeper? Might stick with a bog standard bath – bit cheaper.

2 Responses to “DAY 49: Getting sautéed in a Japanese bath house”


  1. DAY 95: Getting electrocuted by reiki « Hey man, now you're really living - December 5, 2010

    […] I’LL draw up a couple of DON’T TOUCH stickers to put on the two inexplicably intense points on my body that people should steer clear of, because even when I warn a New Ager not to go anywhere near them for risk of a knee to the nose, they do. […]

  2. Getting electrocuted by reiki « The Snake Oil Skeptic - February 19, 2012

    […] even when I warn a New Ager not to go anywhere near them for risk of a knee to the nose, they do. I’ve been told they’re the result of a jealous lover’s arrows in a previous […]

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