Blind in a Japanese Onsen – What could possibly go wrong?

I’m blind without my glasses. But I’m even more blind when its dawn or dusk – that’s when my eyesight is the worst.  Needless to say, walking out of the changing room at the onsen, was a mission and a half.

It was a cold spring morning, and I had just gotten off my bus with my group of roughly 30 people. My memory is a little hazy due to the time of all this, and the fact that we had just been on the bus for 10 hours coming back from Okayama, but from my recollection, It wasn’t even 6am. The shroud of light peeping through was barely enough to see by. 

We of course split up the males and females and went into our respective areas to undress and of course, had to navigate our way from the changing room, to the hot bath area.  For those who don’t know, in an Japanese Onsen, you are wearing nothing! You are stark naked, and you only have a small cloth for modesty you have to hold as you walk around. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my glasses case on the bus, and quickly darted back to get it. When I returned, everyone but myself and one other guy had left the changing room. I didn’t know this guy all that well, but i did know that his vision was a whole lot worse than my own – he probably had 20cm of clear vision in total.

 

Of course, if you try taking glasses into a hot pool, it’s impossible to see as the lenses fog up instantaneously – which forced us to be a pair of blind young adults walking through a strange and unfamiliar place.

After stubbing our toes countless times on the uneven and slippery flooring of the onsen, we decided that prevent either of us from having an accident, the best thing was to link shoulders and use the other person as support. Our naked bodies were basically pressed up against each other, one arm around his shoulder, the other, holding my loin cloth. 

I had no clue where we were going. You would think that getting around would be quite easy, like how big can an onsen be? Well, it took us 5 minutes of walking around in the building nude before we could even find the pools. I wouldn’t be surprised if we somehow walked into the reception area back on the first floor without even knowing. We just walked in a direction we thought was right, and eventually, we made it to the shower section, where we promptly cleaned ourselves. Before the fan girls get on to us, no, we did not wash each other like you see in anime, this was real life, and there was a snowballs chance in hell that i’d let him get anywhere near me with a soapy sponge. 

Some would call this experience a real bonding moment for us , while others would say call it traumatic – depending on how comfortable you are with homosexual nudity. 

Thankfully, my girlfriend was no where near to see if, cause is she saw it, she would seriously question the authenticity of our relationship – thankfully, she was off with the other girls in the female onsen.

By now, I was just starting to regain my vision as the light started to rise, but it was still pretty bad. After several minutes of receiving strange looks from the early morning patrons to the onsen, we finally managed to rejoin our group, bringing the magical quest from the changing room, to the pool where our group was resting, to an end. 

Posted by Off The Track Japan

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