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Thread: Japanese Onsens - in Japan

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Japanese Onsens - in Japan

    Just came back from 2 weeks driving around central Japan - the Japanese Alps. Water runs everywhere. The Japanese use an enormous amount of concrete to control the flow. Everywhere you go there's water falls and runoff channels with water cascading down. It is amazing.

    The other thing that is totally ingrained in Japanese culture are hot springs or Onsen as they're called in Japanese. You don't have to drive far to find a town that has steam rising from every river bend or valley. There's hot water pipes criss-crossing these towns and they typically combine their hot springs with accommodations, where the evening and morning meals are the featured attraction.

    So I thought I'd throw up a few pictures and pose a question about sanitation. The Japanese are generally very clean people. They usually bathe in the evening before bed and it's certainly their practice to wash before entering an Onsen. All Onsen have faucets and folks lather up to an enormous degree before rinsing off. They are spic & span clean.

    Onsen waters are supposed to be analyzed and the results publicly posted. I took a few photo's of the analysis sheets for anyone who could make heads of tails of them. There are some chemical symbols shown imbedded within the Japanese text, so they may be decipherable. Most Onsen are fairly large gender specific pools, constantly being replenished with hot water - and some of them are very very hot hot. Less common are individual, or family spas for those that want a little privacy. I believe the small pools are emptied daily. Most all these pools are indoors or at least mostly shaded. The analyses I'm posting were from some of those smaller pools.

    The Japanese have been doing this kind of thing for millennia. I think I read there are 33,000 Onsen in Japan. Do they have greater issues with diseases transmission, etc or is there something about the water or the way they use it that tends to limit such problems.

    Analysis 1
    Analysis1.jpg

    Analysis 2
    Analysis2.jpg

    Analysis 3
    Analysis3.jpg

    Family style Onsen
    Family style Onsen.jpg

    Even Japanese monkeys like Onsen
    Even Japanese monkeys like an Onsen.jpg
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Onsens - in Japan

    No idea, but it sounds like they have it figured out. Interesting post, as I had no idea. Since you mention it, how was the driving, and what did you drive?
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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Onsens - in Japan

    I'm a lover of small cars. Throughout my youth I owned the original Austin/Morris Mini's as well as many other small cars. The Japanese have a class of cars called "Kei" cars which are currently limited to 660cc (40ci) and identifiable by their yellow license plates. Regular cars have white plates. Outside of major metropolitan areas, Kei cars seem to be over 50% of the cars on the road. They are subject to lower tax rates, lower toll charges and reduced parking restrictions. I rented a Nissan MoCo from Nissan Car Rental, which is actually a badge engineered Suzuki MR. It had 4 doors, 3 cylinders, was fully appointed with power windows, power folding mirrors, A/C, GPS/NAV system (a necessity in Japan) and it cruised all day at 120km/hr (75mph). Wasn't particularly fast off the line but had a terrific high speed highway response. It had a CVT transmission which I hadn't experienced before but seemed indistinguishable from a standard automatic. It also had a stoplight engine shutdown system that I found a bit annoying because the engine would stop and start at a light if you relaxed your press on the brake pedal. By the way, the Japanese are far better drivers than folks in the US; they have much stricter driver training and testing requirements and the drivers there know that the passing lane is meant for just that, active passing only.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Onsens - in Japan

    That's cool. I'm slowly but surely getting a 99 Miata back on the road this summer. It's fun, but also a process.
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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Onsens - in Japan

    Was in an autocross on Saturday. An MX-5 version did very well. Beat out a bevy of Porsches - it was a Porsche Club of America event. Good luck with working on that. I think parts availability should be very good.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Onsens - in Japan

    Thanks, and that's cool to hear.

    It is, and not. Took me a month to get a OEM fuel pump. Two days for clutch slave and master.
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