August 21, 2005
Sunamushi Onsen

In Kagoshima (and maybe other places as well) they have Sunamushi Onsens. As you know, regular onsens are "hot springs". Where you get naked and jump into a naturally hot bath with a bunch of old men. Or, if you're lucky, you can get a private room and jump in with only your girlfriend. 貸し切り!

Sunamushi Onsen is similar, except, there is no water, you don't get naked, it's not especially fun if you get in with your girlfriend, and it's not exactly "hot", more like, toasty. Read the warning signs!

You change into a simple yukata and no underwear before getting out to the sand pit. Once you're ready, the old ladies working at the location will dig you a shallow grave. Then you climb in, and they proceed to shovel sand all over your body, except your face.

At first the feeling of being buried by a buncha people with shovels freaked me out. But, I think that only happens to me. Once you are buried, you realize first, that sand is heavy. And two, that this sand is hot!

Kagoshima is famous for Sakurajima, a volcano... Basically right in the middle of the city. This volcano is still active, and just 10-15 years ago, the city was covered in ash most of the time because of it's frequent spurts. Because of this, the area has many natural onsen, and also, this really hot sand.

It felt great!

- Harvey

Posted by Harvey at August 21, 2005 10:48 PM

Great! I want to do it too :D Normal onsen and tsunamushi ones.

Posted by: Surronded on August 22, 2005 12:28 AM

Care to explain the lump right at your crotch?

Posted by: Liam McNulty on August 22, 2005 12:45 AM

Hey now, that is a tradtinally Kagoshima-ian, shovel pattern. Yes...

Posted by: Harvey on August 22, 2005 07:45 AM

So, a place with no water can also be called an Onsen? Maybe I'll import some white sand from Florida or somewhere and start burying people myself.

Posted by: キース on August 26, 2005 07:36 PM

Cool, I always wanted to do that. So what happens when you're done? Do you take a dip in a regular onsen? Or just put on your clothes and go home?

Posted by: mdchachi on August 28, 2005 01:34 AM

Good question mdchachi!

I should have included this in the original post~

After you get out of the sand, you go into a room to shower off, and there is a ofuro there as well. However... strangely there is no soap available in the shower! They say that it is unhealthy to use soap after doing this sand thing for some reason. No idea why.

Posted by: Harvey on August 29, 2005 07:37 AM

hehehe...very interesting:)

Posted by: Solynna on September 10, 2005 06:06 AM

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btw, do you go online anymore?

Posted by: Mavurik on September 10, 2005 10:12 AM

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