And On The
Seventh Day,
There Was Rest...
February 26, 2008

I didn’t really know what I was going to do today. Stay in Osaka? Go back to Kobe? Go to a city called Takarazuka that has an onsen?
What would I do on my last day before heading back to Tokyo.

I got a late start because…well…I could. I scoped out ‘Den-Den Town’ - the electronics area near where I am staying. I wanted to buy
several things…but I ended up coming back empty-handed. I just couldn’t commit to a purchase. Lame, I know. But there’s always

It was now 11:30 am. I had my bags in hand. I also considered going back to Tokyo early so that I have an extra day there. But I
botched that idea. Might as well take advantage of my current surroundings. I made a last-minute decision of having an onsen-day
(similar to ‘spa days’ at home) just a half-hour from Osaka in Takarazuka . I deserved a break from sightseeing.

At first I was bummed out that it started to rain once I arrived. But then I used my brain and told myself that this was the
perfect thing
to be doing on a rainy day.

When I got there, I decided to pay the extra money to do a ‘stone spa’ as well. The girl recommended that over the ‘salt spa’. I will get
to what these are in a bit. First let me say that it is a bit of a challenge walking into one of these places where they don’t really speak
English yet there is an exact protocol that is to be followed. A bit intimidating, to be honest.

I was given two bags – one with a towel and washcloth for the ‘women’s bath’. The other bag had towels, an outfit and an instruction
sheet of how to use the stone spa. These directions were very, very handy.

I first showered (and how nice is it that every product provided here was Shiseido) and then went into one of the two baths. I chose the
one with a reddish tint – contained a lot of minerals. Sounded good to me. I joined many naked Japanese grandmothers. There is no
wearing bathing suits while using hot baths in this country.

Soon it was time for my ‘stone spa’. I changed into my ‘stone spa’ attire (short pants and a long sleeved shirt) and up I went to the 4th
floor. This is when my directions came in handy since the only way the woman up there and I could communicate was by smiling.

On one side of the room (that felt like a mild steambath) were the pretty ‘salt spas’. Across from them were the ‘stone spas’. I laid my
towel down and then got on top of it and laid on my stomach for five minutes. Then I flipped over and put the smaller towel underneath
my head and laid there for 5-10 minutes. Then I went outside of the room and ‘cooled down’ with some water. This process was
repeated about three times. Then I was done and it was time to go back down to the second floor. Time for one more shower and one
more soak in the bath.

I was now red-faced and
waaaaaaay relaxed. After getting ready, I checked-out and got my shoes back. Time flies quickly when you’re
relaxing – it was time to go back to Osaka to pick up my bags and then head to Tokyo.

I am now on the Shinkansen to Tokyo and I have to say that I opted for the right thing to do today. It’s raining everywhere today. And
let me state for the record – I will take a cold and snowy day any day over a mild and wet one. But at least I found a great way to avoid
dealing with it (and all for about $16!).
Back to Japan.
My attire and directions of what to do.
The salt and stone spas.
During one of my 'cool downs'.