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Thread: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

  1. #101

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Here's a fun story.

    So one day in Kyoto, I decided to take the train and go 30 minutes outside the city to Kurama. I initially went because I had heard that it had onsen, and that was one of my goals. Even if it didn't, it was a mountain, and I wanted to hike.

    When I arrived, the first thing I saw was a little shuttle that read "free bus to hot spring." I contemplated whether or not I wanted to explore the area first or to go ahead and bathe it up. I chose the former, which proved to be a wise decision.

    I paid 500 to get into the big temple (which was up Mt. Kurama itself) and it more than paid for itself. Not only did I see some neat temples and shrines, but it included the entire mountain hike which is about 544m. I went all the way up and all the way down the other way, which took about two hours since I "stopped to smell the roses" quite frequently. I will tell you, I saw some pretty breathtaking things, including an interesting way Cedar Trees have rooted.
    But long story short, I was tired as all hell by the end. It was also another 30 minute walk (plus one train stop) back to Kurama once I descended the mountain. Needless to say, by the time I got to Kurama I had accumulated more than my fair share of sweat. And it was a hot day. And I was wearing jeans. Do the math.

    So I sprang for that free shuttle. And I accomplished one of my goals of the trip: I got to visit an onsen. I rented a towel and went right to it. I suppose it's not common for a gaijin to frequent an onsen. Or maybe it's because I didn't see foreigner one in Kurama (aside from the English and Irish duo I met on the way back to the town). [In fact, I didn't see too many youngsters in the area at all anyway, it was mostly old men and women. ]But my two bath-mates couldn't get past looking at me a lot. Mostly during pre-bath washup time. Not that I cared, I needed that bath dammit!!!
    That aside, it was refreshing, relaxing, and boy did my feet love it most of all. By the end of the day my blisters had blisters. And the bath location itself was pretty damn good too. Had a nice view of the mountain. And also a nice view of that guy's back tat...t..oo...

    Oh shit.

    Yeah, I'm prrrrretty sure I was in the company of yakuza. No, not with me in the outside bath, but the inside area. I could see the tattoo plain as day through the glass. And in the locker area, I was directly in the middle of two gentlemen with full-back tattoos as they were conversing. I didn't look them in the eye, NOR did I doublecheck to see if they were missing pinkies. But I'm fairly certain they were yakuza.

    Despite the fact that I saw a lot of amazing landscapes and vegetation, that is probably the 'wackiest' thing I saw during my 10 day period.

    On a side note, has anyone else ever been to an onsen? Every person I've talked to who's been to Japan hasn't 'taken the plunge.' Is it personal preference or not culturally acceptable? (I did see a few white guys in yukatas at the resort lounge while waiting outside for the bus to come back though so maybe the former?)
    buttcheeks


  2. #102

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven D. Teach View Post
    I used to roll with those and Boss coffee in the morning.

    Shrimp Mayo Pizza...no.
    Goddamn, I miss Boss Coffee so fucking much...

    ...it's in like evey bending machine over there, but nearly impossible to get in the States.

    I had my sister pick up a few cans for me when she was in Tokyo last year... I'm afraid to drink the last one, since I have no idea when I'll be able to get more.

    All they have in stores here is that cheap Korean knockoff brand. >_<
    この世に悪があるとすればそれは人の心だ。

  3. #103
    The Mountain That Drinks. Steven D. Teach's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    I've got to find me a Yakuza onsen someday.

    I've been to quite a few onsen, though. I'm completely cool with them now and actually appreciate relaxing in them. The first time, however, my host-dad tricked me into thinking we were going to a pool. Then everyone got naked. I was pretty nervous at the time, I got jittery and walked into it without taking my socks off and sporting one of those poorly timed erections. People were asking me if I was all right, and one guy even asked if I was lost. I guess people get lost and stumble into onsen often.

  4. #104

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    So wait, tattooed people always equal Yakuza in japan? Or do you have to distinguish between the normal and full body tattoos, the make-up of the tattoo? An onsen sure sounds interesting, but I always hear about those strict rules, with foreigners not knowing how to act properly. Stick with the good old turkish bath or finish sauna!

    what exactly ARE those rules everyone's talking about though?

    People were asking me if I was all right, and one guy even asked if I was lost. I guess people get lost and stumble into onsen often.
    LOL

    Hey, a dude running through town naked, wearing nothing but socks, who then accidentally runs into an onsen, not knowing where he is...could happen, he had all right to ask!





  5. #105

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    I thought that all onsens banned anyone with a tattoo from entering? Or does it actually vary from region-to-region/onsen-to-onsen?

  6. #106
    The Mountain That Drinks. Steven D. Teach's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Well, having a tattoo doesn't immediately and necessarily equate to being a yakuza, but for the large part tattoos are associated with criminality--not like a simple mark or a I <3 Mom kinda thing, but usually intricate patterns all over the body. I'm not 100% sure about it, but yeah, there are many onsen that won't let you in if you're heavy on the tattoos (although I can't speak from experience). Obviously there are places that don't care.

    As for etiquette, I'm no expert as you can tell from the above story, but you generally want to be quiet and use the shower station before entering the water.

  7. #107

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Ah. Thanks for the explanation.
    Banking on the etiquette thing, I heard that bringing soap into an onsen is a good way to bring hell on yourself. I take it that the chemicals mess with the equipment?

  8. #108
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    I will tell you, I saw some pretty breathtaking things, including an interesting way Cedar Trees have rooted.
    Would you prefer to keep thinking about it that way or should I destroy the magic with the (boring) truth?

  9. #109
    POE WUN BGR Robby's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Would you prefer to keep thinking about it that way or should I destroy the magic with the (boring) truth?
    Well, you've sparked MY curiosity.

    3DS friend code: 4398-9931-0463 http://www.anaria.net/

  10. #110

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    i'm guessing onsen is a hot spring? your allowed to have towels in some of them, right? our cultural mind-set is modest enough, but to be the only Caucasian and have everyone staring at you. *blush*

  11. #111

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    This one didn't allow towels in the bath area. So yeah, I was butt ass naked. No shame here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Would you prefer to keep thinking about it that way or should I destroy the magic with the (boring) truth?
    Actually go ahead. I wanted to know anyway.
    buttcheeks


  12. #112
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    I haven't seen what you've seen but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume what you mean are the 'patchy' cedars that appear suddenly on mountainsides and whatnot in perfect formation. Not only that, but they also seem to mysteriously grow without any branches aside from the tip-tops.

    They've all been planted that way by people.

    All. Over. Japan.

    They're tree farms.

    In fact, there are so many, that Japanese people have developed allergies to cedars which historically, they did not have.

    Is the magic gone?

    Regardless, they still look very cool.

  13. #113

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    you'd think it would work the opposite. the more exposure, the more immune they would be to it. I have a friend who used to be allergic to cats. she has one now.

  14. #114
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Excerpt from my FaceBook post on sexual harassment in Japan:

    I am Ken.

    Ken-I-am.

    That Ken-I-am.
    That Ken-I-am.
    I do not like that Ken-I-am!

    Do you like her ass and mams?

    I do not like them, Ken-I-am.
    I do not like her ass and mams.

    Would you like them here or there?

    I would not like them here or there.
    I would not like them anywhere.

    I do not like her ass and mams.
    I do not like them, Ken-I-am.

    Would you like them in her house?
    Would you like them in your mouth?

    I do not like them in her house.
    I do not like them in my mouth.
    I do not like them here or there.
    I do not like them anywhere.
    I do not like her ass and mams.
    I do not like them Ken-I-am.

    Would you squeeze them in a karaoke box?
    Would you squeeze your mother-in-law's?

    Not in a box.
    Not my mother-in-law's.
    Not in her house.
    Not with my mouth.
    I would not squeeze them here or there.
    I would not squeeze them anywhere.
    I would not squeeze her ass and mams.
    I am not like that Ken-I-am.

    Would you? Could you? In the company car?
    Squeeze them! Squeeze them! Here they are.

    I would not could not in the company car.

    You may like them. You will see.
    You may like
    a shave or three!

    I would not, could not let her shave me.
    Not in the company car! You let me be.

    I do not like them in a box.
    I do not like my mother-in-law’s.
    I do not like them in her house.
    I do not like them in my mouth.
    I do not like them here or there.
    I do not like them anywhere.
    I do not like her ass and mams.
    I do not like them, Ken-I-am.

    A
    train! A train!
    A
    train! A train!
    Could you, would you, on a train?

    Not in a train! Not a shave or three!
    Not in the company car! Ken! Let me be!

    I would not, could not, in a box.
    I could not, would not, with my mother-in-law’s.
    I will not squeeze them with my mouth.
    I will not squeeze them in her house.
    I will not squeeze them here or there.
    I will not squeeze them anywhere.
    I do not like her ass and mams.
    I do not like them, Ken-I-am.

    Say! In the
    park?
    Here in the park!
    Would you, could you, in the park?

    I would not, could not, in the park.

    Would you, could you, in the arcade?

    I would not, could not, in the arcade.
    Not in the park. Not on a train.
    Not in the company car. Not for a shave or three.
    I do not like them, Ken, you see.
    Not in her house, Not in a box.
    Not in my mouth. Not with my mother-in-law’s.
    I will not squeeze them here or there.
    I do not like them anywhere!

    You do not like her ass and mams?

    I do not like them, Ken-I-am.

    Could you, would you, when you’re
    stoned?

    I would not, could not when I’m stoned!

    Would you, could you, at the
    HQ bureau?

    I would not, could not, at the HQ bureau.
    I will not, will not when I’m stoned.
    I will not squeeze them in the arcade.
    I will not squeeze them on a train.
    Not in the park! Not for shave or three!
    Not in the company car! You let me be!
    I do not like them in a karaoke box.
    I do not like my mother-in-law’s.
    I will not squeeze them in her house.
    I do not like them in my mouth.
    I do not like them here or there.
    I do not like them ANYWHERE!
    I do not like her ass and mams!
    I do not like them, Ken-I-am.

    You do not like them. So you say.
    Try them! Try them! And you may.
    Try them and you may, I say.

    Ken! If you will let me be, I will try them.
    You will see.

    Say! I like her ass and mams!
    I do! I like them, Ken-I-am!
    And I would squeeze them in the HQ bureau.
    And I would squeeze them when I’m stoned.

    And I will squeeze them at the arcade.
    And in the park. And on the train.
    And in the company car. And for a shave or three.
    They are so good, so good, you see!

    So I will squeeze them in a karaoke box.
    And I will squeeze my mother-in-law’s.
    And I will squeeze them in her house.
    And I will squeeze them with my mouth.
    And I will squeeze them here and there.
    Say! I will squeeze them ANYWHERE!

    I do so like her ass and mams!
    Thank you!
    Thank you, Ken-I-am!

  15. #115

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    wall of text

    cute though

  16. #116
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Did you read the links?

  17. #117

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    ooh no. i missed them. thanks.

    *reads* wow. it really is a different world out there. This is something that would just eat at my soul. It's so wrong. and the fact that cops/government, etc. turn a blind eye. geez, I'd feel trapped with nowhere to go. my condolences for the ladies that have to go through this every day.

    lol they should get some european women on those trains. those chikan won't stand a chance.
    I also found it funny that the chikan article had an add beside it with one of those "boob" mouse pads. :\

    you said a while ago, your happy haruka isn't like most japanese. without putting her on the spot; I find this interesting, since everyone is pressured to conform. Did her parents encourage, or promote this type of behavior? Did they accept it, despite disagreeing with it? was haru an outcast for being unique? How did she fit into japanese society if she is different? And what is it that makes her different. (sorry if this is a loaded question. you don't have to answer it)

    also, one of the articles mentioned people bringing their own chopsticks in little boxes. tell me more about that. :3
    Last edited by captain usopp; May 8th, 2010 at 06:55 PM.

  18. #118
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    She knows when to turn it on and off. She can adjust herself to the scenario without being false to herself. She never had any issues standing out or anything though.

    She actually grabbed someone that groped her on a train when she was a high school student and took him off the train and had the station attendants call the police.

  19. #119
    See you in another life! Mugiwara_no_Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Pluck my beard please. lol

    I thought GTO to be slightly exagerated, but it seems worse in real life.

  20. #120

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Actually I was referring to this:


    This is near the top of the mountain and covered a surprising amount of ground. It was really something, especially if you aren't expecting it.

    I have seen the trees you mean though. They are indeed everywhere. And now I know why!
    buttcheeks


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