"" Writer's Wanderings: The Oedo Onsen

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Oedo Onsen

A long line out in the rain at the entrance to the Teamlab in Odaiba where we had planned to spend some time made us decide to put that visit off until later and find our way to the Oedo Onsen. An onsen is a Japanese bath usually fed by a hot spring. We had been to one after our Mt. Fuji climb but neither Bob or I had participated in the bath. Why you ask? Because we didn't feel comfortable shedding all clothing and showing off seventy-something year old bodies. I had briefly considered it until I saw a bunch of twenty-somethings running around with nothing on in the dressing room.

This onsen is said to be a favorite of foreigners. I can see why. It is a neat place to just walk around. When you first enter and pay, you choose a yukata from a display on the wall. There are designs for men and women and children. The girls went their way and the boys theirs and we all came back out and regrouped a few minutes later in our yukatas. Thankfully Bob left his jeans on under his as the first thing he did when he sat down was spread his legs. Whew!

We had left our shoes at the entrance in lockers but we left our socks on to walk around. You could have gone barefoot if you wanted.

The inside of the place was huge and was decorated like an old traditional village of sorts only instead of houses, there were booths with carnival type games and lots of places to get drinks and/or food. The center of the largest room had lots of tables with benches and chairs. where you could bring your food and drinks.

We claimed a table and the kids were immediately off to try their luck with the games. The most popular, and I might add the one they were quite practiced at, was a pool of floating plastic balls. The object was to net as many as you could before the thin paper net totally dissolved. Several other booths had games of chance and another that was popular was the ninja stars you could throw at a target. It didn't take long for our table to fill up with rubber balls and other toys and a grand prize of a drone.

The kids and their parents went off to the baths while Bob and I walked around and enjoyed a drink. We were also the guardians of the loot they'd won. When they returned they made another round for all the games. Each time they played their wristband was scanned and a charge was made to our son's account which he would pay when we were done. He laughed and said no matter how much they did he was still saving money over a Disney trip.

It was late afternoon when we decided to see if the line at the Teamlab was shorter. When we got outside, we found it had finally stopped raining. We found there was almost no line so we were excited. This was supposed to be quite an unusual show of artwork that moves from room to room with light displays and. . .well, I'll show you Thursday.

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