Yesterday turned out to be a really hard session of kendo, so today Nicky really wanted to go to the sentou that Mihori-san showed us. I was really tired, but the promise of a nice relaxing sit in a hot spring made the thought for the long commute from Sugamo bearable. Nicky met me in Takaido, and we spent about an hour or so there for about $9.
One of the things that was an improvement from Oedo Onsen Monogatari was that there was a more relaxed feeling to the facility, and the jet baths, though quite painful at times, were a new experience. There was also a sauna set at 52ºC (around 122ºF!!!)- We didn’t last very long in there. I think I lasted about five minutes before I felt like my lungs had been cedar-cooked from the inside. It took about 30 minutes of soaking in the cold bath (that one bath was worth the price of admission!) to recover from the sauna, but eventually I did, and we went back to the jet pools for a second round, before going to the cleaning area to wash our hair and skin of the chlorine smell.
It was still early when we left so we decided tonight would be a good night to go to a silly bar we found in Akihabara our first night there. We called up Erin and all went together. Japan is famous for its themed bars, especially bars like “Maid Cafes,” where women dress up as french maids, or host and hostess bars, where you can pay to be a popular kid for a night. This bar was along the line of the maid cafes; innocent and mostly made for eye candy. The experience was both ridiculous and extremely embarrassing, as basically the cafe caters to a small niche of people who find feminine-gay guys cute. The staff is entirely male, and they walk around pretending to have crushes on each other. It was done in a very humorous way, and besides for the really random, quiet male customer at the bar that gave creeper vibes, I had a lot of fun talking to them. They even had special services where they would draw pictures in chocolate when you ordered cake. Sadly, pictures weren’t permitted (though I understand why XD) One of the things I’ve liked about bars in Japan is that there actually isn’t that great of a pressure to drink, and the population within is very mature and friendly. I’ve never felt grossed out by the people in the bars I’ve gone to, which is one of the main reasons I avoided bars in the states.
I also found Nicky a smaller version of the pillow she fell in love with at Lisa’s house in Akihabara (and it has a face on it!), so it was a good day, I think. The pillow was only $5 too, because it had a small stain on it. That’s another cool thing about Japan- merchants (even at chain stores) are perfectly willing to haggle for the price on damaged or perishable goods. Woohoo!