Do you have a personal list of crazy things you have done? We added to ours today, because today we took the train to Ibusuki to take a sand bath.
Ibusuki is about a 90 minute train ride south of Kagoshima - it is a small town of about 40,000, looking kind of down on its heels. But.... They have hot springs heated by a local volcano, and those springs run out onto the beach. People come from all over to be buried in the sand and have a good steam..
We arrived at the reception desk and were issued yukatas (cotton robes), small towels and told to change into the robes - no underwear! Okay,then. We went off to the change rooms where we changed into our robes and flip flops, then met on the walkway outside. When the tide is out and the weather right they dig little trenches right on the beach, but the tide was in so went into an enclosure where the attendants were waiting with their shovels. They instructed us how to get settled, with our towels around our necks. Once we were settled they proceeded to shovel the hot sand over us. It was surprisingly heavy and quite hot. We were told to stay put for ten minutes.
It was not the thing for people with claustrophobia, that's for sure. It seemed like a very long ten minutes, but eventually it was time and we sat up and brushed the sand off. At that point we returned to the main building for a big rinse off, and then into the usual Japanese bath process. Since we had a showered this morning, had a bath at noon and another bath tonight before bed we are very squeaky clean. And tomorrow we head off to a town of hot springs, so more hot bath adventures await. We'll be without Internet for a few days, so we'll check in again next week.
Till then, here are the pictures from today's adventure: