Apr 122012
 

In a Zen-temple it is not possible to enjoy a hot bath or shower every evening. The only place for a quick daily wash at our guesthouse is the old outdoors basin providing cold water, not too inviting at temperatures slightly above zero …

basinBut each couple of days (at very traditional places every two weeks) is bathing day, and today it is! After three freezing cold nights and four days wearing all the cloths I brought with me to Japan, I was much looking forward to soak myself in hot water.

Several times during my trips to Japan I stayed in lovely old onsen-ryokan where the night costs a fortune (usually neither booked nor paid by myself), with baths comprising splendid tubs from exotic wood or giant stones, filled with natural hot spring water said to have certain healing effects. But today’s bath in the Temple’s small metal tub filled with hot tap-water was without doubt the best and most joyful soak I ever had in my life!

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