I won't lie, I titled this post "Naked with Strangers" with the intention of attracting more readers.
I was in fact naked with strangers today though! This may require explanation. Here is a picture of me post-exposure. Notice the smile. Notice the clothing.
The second day I was here someone mentioned the Hoshino-onsen hot spring. Naturally I was excited, hot springs in Japan sounds exotic and would probably make me cool on some level.
Lauren: "Awesome, I'm glad I brought a swim suit"
Person: "Oh you don't wear a swimsuit"
Lauren: "So what do I wear?
Person: "You aren't allowed to wear anything"
Person: "Men and women are separate"
Fast forward to today when everyone was talking about going to the Hot springs and I had to mentally prepare to get naked in front of a bunch of strangers. Me without clothes is currently a visual between myself, my maker, and my sister- who had to help me out with a terrifying cockroach situation recently.
The men and women parted ways and I entered a cultural experience to remember. The Japanese are very particular about being clean before entering the hot springs. So, you strip down and delicately hold a tiny towel as you walk across a locker room in to the shower area. Here you sit on a wooden stool- if it could speak I'm sure would have a story or two- next to strangers, and you scrub from head to toe with your tiny towel.
Afterwards you go outside and join more strangers in a giant hot tub (essentially). If you're crazy (we are) you go from the hot spring to the ice-cold pool. Then, because you're a complete pansy, you run back to the hot spring and feel every single nerve in your body do a factory reset.
When you're done cooking you scrub off again and strut back through the locker room to reluctantly put on the warm winter clothes you were so timid to remove in the first place. That is the story about how I was naked with strangers today. #missionswork ?