Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sennenyu, Kawasaki (千年湯、)

"I am Ariel, of the woodland folk."
"Shut up baby, I blasted my biceps at the gym and I need to recover."
"Screw you, I'll text my boyfriend."

Ahhh, riding the train. It's a good thing it's so easy to get signed release forms.

The Woodsman wanted to take me to one of his favorite sentou before our blowout family dinner, and I was in no mood to say no to a 20-minute bike ride through the meadows and apartment buildings of Kawasaki, beside rambling brooks and coin laundries. Thousand Year Bath is a cool place, concealing hidden watery surprises as well as a LOT of friendly locals.

The mural is pretty extraordinary; interesting that it's painted on the tiles instead of wallboard. That really helps with the longevity and maintenance, I imagine. The bath was actually packed on Saturday afternoon - hard to find a place to wash up, sometimes tough to get a comfortable seat in the bath (by 'comfortable' I mean 'no danger of touching another man's equipment while soaking').

I couldn't get pictures of the really cool thing, but you'll see it if you follow the link below - black water. Evidently it bubbles up out of the earth like that. Looks a bit like boiling molasses, once you get in it's more like being submerged in strong tea, and the smell is a bit like Lake Hurff. I'm usually a big baby about onsen water, but I could have stayed in for hours despite it being a warm day.  No idea how to get back, but it's a fun stop if you happen to be...awww, you're not gonna be. Let's not pretend.


Mississippi moon woncha keep on shinin'
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