Eric Talmadge takes a joyful, first-person plunge into the depths of Japan's bathing culture-joining the millions of Japanese who not only bathe every day, but find it a must to travel the country on a search for the perfect bathing experience.
From bathing "theme parks" which come complete with tubs for your pets, to the luxurious dinners served in the rarified atmosphere of the most expensive hot springs resorts, to the calming effects of an odorous sea-water bath carved from an isolated coastline, the author draws on his travels to create a delightful, enlightening volume that goes beyond the scope of typical travel books on Japan.
Readers follow Talmadge on his skin-tingling (and sometime scalding) encounters as he reflects on the art of bathing in ancient times and the dos and don'ts of going au natural in contemporary Japan. The religious rites. The science of bathing-what hot water does to you and your skin, and why. The truth behind the claims of healing powers. The unavoidable progression from simple nudity to the business of sex. And some reflections on how the bathing culture has changed and where it may be going.
Finally, the book offers sage advice, some guidelines, sample day trips and other practical matters for those who actually may be thinking of testing out the waters.