A life of courage, joy and independence.
One of the interesting things about public baths in Japan is the fact that you can sometimes see members of the opposite sex roaming around inside the bath area. More accurately, you can sometimes see females walking around in the male section of the bath. Public bathhouses are called onsen in Japan where they play an important and pleasurable role in the lifestyle of the Japanese people.
After work this evening my daughter and wife suggested that we visit our local onsen. The price to get in is just 700 yen which bought us as much time as we like to enjoy the bath and all of the facilities; including the steam room, massage chairs and lounge. There are separate bath areas for men and women with two entrances marked with red and blue curtains to signal the appropriate doorway for each sex. This evening when I walked into the male section I promptly stripped, put my clothes in the locker and then walked naked into the bath. As soon as I opened the door into the steamy wet room I was greeted by a lilting female voice. A young woman walked right past me, smiling as she did, without giving even a cursory look at my goods. While some men may feel a bit rejected at not even gaining a glance, I knew that she was simply performing professionally the role of her job as bath attendant. Japanese men hardly give the presence of these women a second thought, and taking my cue from them I quickly moved into the bath to wash and then soak while the female attendant cleaned and took care to keep everything organized. When you come to Japan and visit an onsen don’t be surprised if you see a woman in the bath with you. Don’t worry, she will likely be fully clothed and will take care not to offend your masculine modesty. :-)