I am sure I have mentioned to you all, the nicest thing about being back in Shimane and neighbouring prefecture Okayama, is that there is an abundance of onsen (hot springs). We’re able to go almost daily to the ones near Atsuko’s house and we never feel so clean as we do on these trips back home. Being frequent onsen visitors, the nakedness has obviously become completely normal but nevertheless, we were still quite shocked when we arrived at a small onsen village in Okayama. We have been to mixed baths before, at KDa we even designed one, but the openness of the baths in Hakkei was unbelievable.
Walking along the river, even from a great distance we could already see the naked guys lying around on the rocks, sunning themselves. These hot springs, right next to the river had no cover at all and so even from the road, you could see everything. It was quite funny and perhaps more surprising was that from our dinner and breakfast table, we could get the exact same view. Of course I don’t have too many pictures, but look closely at the last photograph here… : )
We didn’t feel quite brave enough to use that one, but the ryokan where we stayed had 4 different baths to chose from and even though we stayed only one night, we managed to try them all. The food was incredible and the service the best I’ve ever experienced. And in Japan, that’s saying something.