Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Noodle Bath

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?

Dreams come true…

…at the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Hot Springs Amusment Park & Spa Resort. The name is a bit of a mouthful, so we’ll get straight to the meat of the matter: it is a resort with a bunch of novelty baths. Like the ramen one from this video:

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’s Hikone, not Hakone you turd – ed) 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!