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Apr
28

Onsen Night

Posted on Tuesday April 28, 2009 at 9:00am in

Everyone wanted to try on my (sweet american) sunglasses today for some reason…

Onsen Night
Kazu-san.

Onsen Night
Emily-san.

Onsen Night
Nozomi-kun.

There were more photos of people trying on my (sweet american) sunglasses, but I don’t feel like posting them all. On to movies!

それでも、僕はやってない:

Onsen Night
English Title: “I Just Didn’t Do It.”

それでも、僕はやってない is a scary look at the Japanese court system based on a real case. It is about a young man is is falsely accused of chikan and imprisoned. For those not familiar with the concept of chikan – it is a very popular crime in Japan. When trains and buses are operating at over-capacity and things get very crowded, men use the cover of other people to grope women. Because of this, Japan implemented all-day women only train cars in 2001. However, since the implementation of these cars, the rates of such crimes have only been rising. Being a sociology major with a focus in gender studies this movie was of special interest to me. Being a guy living in Japan however, it is quite scary.

One does not have to be a chikan to be accused of being a chikan. There is often no proof and sometimes women will take advantage of men and make claims to make money off of suing them. As evidenced by this movie, no proof is needed.

In this case, the man was held for over a year and went in and out of courtrooms. From day one, he insisted he was innocent. He was told by his publicly appointed attorney that if he just said he was guilty and paid the small $500 fine he would be free to go. But, because he did not do anything, he decided to fight the case (despite the success rate of such cases being .1%). After each trial, his innocence became more and more apparent. But, because there was no definite proof that he did not commit the crime, he was in the end declared guilty. Worth a look.

Yesterday I watched Big Fish in English with my host family. My host mother has been studying English for a long time so I thought it would be good practice. Turns out the sentences were much more complex than I remembered so I had to keep pausing it to explain things. However, in the end, she enjoyed the movie a lot. It’s one of my favorite movies so I of course enjoyed it.

On to events!

Nozomi asked me if I wanted to go to an onsen (hot spring) with his family on Tuesday night (today). Tomorrow is Green Day, a national holiday, so most people don’t have school including Nozomi. I unfortunately do have class tomorrow, though… But, I said sure and we all went together today after class was over.

We drove up a lot of hills to get to the onsen building. Here was the view at the top:

Onsen Night

Onsen Night

The building was really cool as well. They had a ton of facilities and lots of great food. But, as it is a high class onsen facility:

Onsen Night
NO TATTOOS. Tattoos are associated with the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia). If you have a tattoo, you can’t enter these types of establishments.

Onsen Night
Inside.

At check-in you get a free ticket to do a raffle sort-of thing where you can win prizes. They let me have the ticket and spin the wheel. I won a free large beer at the lounge.

Onsen Night
Personal television lounge.

Onsen Night
A tasty dinner.

After eating, we got ready to go into the onsen.

Onsen Night
Posing at the entrance. The right side is the male entrance, the left side is the female entrance.

Now, I wish I could have some photos for you of the hot springs themselves. But, cameras are not allowed inside for reasonable reasons. Let’s just say it was really cool and there were tons of baths everywhere with all different types of functions. Some had water jets, some were cold, some were extra hot, some were shaped like old fashioned baths made of wood, and there was also a salt sauna. I actually enjoyed these springs a lot more than the natural volcano hot springs at Unzen Resort. In addition to all of the great bathing areas, they also had a big screen TV outside and an amazing view of the city at night. I really wish I could have taken a picture, it was great!

These photos from the outside back in the parking lot will have to do:

Onsen Night

Onsen Night

Nozomi’s family was very nice! They paid for me, and afterwords bought me a bunch of snacks to take with me. Tomorrow they are taking me out to lunch before classes, too.

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