If you googled “naked Japanese ladies” while surfing for porn, I’m afraid you will be disappointed because there ain’t any here. You might want to try this site instead. So what’s up with the tawdry title then? I figured if it helps the newspapers sell papers, it will help me boost my stats. I guess we will soon find out! To be fair, I had been bathing naked with other naked Japanese ladies as part of my 3 day Onsen experience in Kinosaki. So there is some truth in the title unlike the tabloids.
Kinosaki is a pretty little town in the Kansai region. It is very small and you can cover the whole town in half a day. However, you will need time to try the 7 spas there so I recommend at least 2 days there. The spring water is really hot. Most of the locals soak in the spa for around 20mins. It gets uncomfortable if you soak any longer. I drank periodically from the water fountains to keep hydrated. How do you spot the foreigners in the spas? They are the ones trying desperately trying to cover their lady bits with the minuscule towel provided. They are the ones looking as red as a lobster (either from embarrassment or overheating). They are also the ones that ask “Are the male and female baths separate?” I could almost see the thought bubble of the spa staff saying “What kind of sick nation do you think we are?” when I asked that. This post will focus more on what Kinosaki is like rather than the spas. I will write another post reviewing the different spas I visited.
Kinosaki is an idyllic town close to the mouth of Maruyama River. The Otani Stream runs through the main street. There are huge koi fishes that swim in this stream. The stream is lined with weeping willows on both sides. There are stone bridges on which yukata clad lovers sit, immersed in their own world. In the evening the streets are filled with bathers dressed in yukatas and the “click-clock” sounds of their wooden clogs as they walk to the spas.
This is really a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. There are no MacDonalds and no internet (at my Ryokan anyway). For entertainment, there are a few pachinko parlours around town. Pachinko means pinball. Who could resist the bright fluoro lights and the enticing clinking of the marbles knocking around? Whether you want to impress your girl by your shooting skills or just to kill some time, this is clearly the place to be at 8pm.
I like the “old-school” look of these pinball machines, no Indiana Jones or Terminator here. There are no side buttons so once you blast the ball in, that’s it!
This pinball uses these beautiful blue marbles. The numbers on them represent the number of balls you will win when your marble falls in that hole. There is a “double-win”, which is when you balance 2 marbles side by side. It is actually possible! The marbles rush out from the top across the glass when you succeed (you can see a little ramp where the marbles roll out from). You are given 50 balls to start with for 200yen. The pleasure of seeing the marbles roll towards you when you put one in the hole; it is a gleeful childlike kind of pleasure.
I hope this post will give you some idea of what Kinosaki is like. The people are warm, friendly and always helpful. They might not speak much English (probably because they are shy) but they actually understand English pretty well. I did not find any problems getting around. I would say it is worth a visit!