Thursday, March 5, 2009

"She thinks a little like a Japanese person...." hosts said to our Nakai-san at the Ryokan, nodding in my direction. That's because I bring gifts and thank people profusely. Mayummi-san, Chizuru-san, Motoyo-san and Chizuru-san's husband treated me to a night at a very nice Ryokan with an Onsen that is 100% volcanic water. We had our own Nakai-san (a hostes who wears a kimono) who served our 18 course kaiseki meal in our room and even though she finished with us at 9:00 PM she was back to wake us up at 8:00 AM to then serve our 5 course breakfast consisting of many kinds of fish, three soups and four kinds of pickles. In between all this food we soaked in the Onsen. After spending hours in showers and baths the night before I thought I would wait until I got home to shower again. I could see my friends were quietly horrified so I told them I would take a shower. "Oh no. Ka-chan. Take a shower just to get clean, then you must take a bath, the water is 100% onsen water and the tiles are special Izu tiles."