Once I had a dream that I was a hard-boiled egg, dropped into a gigantic (from my perspective) bowl of ramen, getting extra boiled in the steaming pork broth, contemplating life. Then I woke up in a puddle, having peed myself. Why do all cool dreams have to end that way?
There are also baths filled with sake, coffee, green tea, and wine. Or chocolate. Or curry. As if the dubious privelege of being able to tell your friends “I had a bath in a huge cup of coffee” isn’t enough, the official propaganda extols the health benefits of immersing yourself in something that (hopefully) most people would rather drink:
“It is said that Sake is very good for the beauty of your skin.”
“The green tea grown in this area is rich in aroma and contains Catechin, a powerful anti-oxidant fighting tumors as well as enhancing the immune system. Also, good for the skin.”
“…it has been said that the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra loved to bath in wine. ”
The last time we checked, Cleopatra was kinda dead, which isn’t really a great endorsement of the theory that getting your gear off in a huge tub of wine is a magical health elixir.
But really, who cares? JZ wants to go. We know you want to go, too. There are a plenty of the uglier sides of J-style tourism on display in Hakone, like that stupid kawaii mascot at Hakone Castle that everyone just has to take photos with.
And always remember that if you have a crazy dream, chances are someone else has already had it, built an entire business out of it, and is now rolling around in yen while you play English-teaching monkey to a bunch of people who don’t really care. Oh well, keep dreaming!