Japanese cruise attendant’s job is to help Westerners bathe nude




A typical Jacuzzi on the
MS Balmoral Titanic.

Lefteris
Pitarakis/AP


  • A Princess
    Cruises
    ship allows patrons to enjoy the Japanese
    ritual of bathing in an onsen, which is a hot spring-heated
    natural body of water. 
  • It’s custom to get naked while in an onsen, which are
    gender-segregated. 
  • To help non-Asian patrons on the cruise feel
    comfortable with bathing nude around strangers, ship
    attendant Hiroki Matsuo uses his psychology degree and
    training to ease folks into the new idea — and ultimately reap
    the benefits. 

 

When Princess
Cruises
introduced the Diamond Princess, its only ship to
exclusively sail around Asia, the designers included something
that would appeal to its clientele: a Japanese hot spring,
or onsen. Guests can take to the baths for a
communal rite that’s popular in Japan, as well as
Korea
and
Taiwan

And the Princess Cruises’ onsen doesn’t miss out on one classic
part of the hot spring experience: bathing in the nude around a
bunch of strangers (of your own gender). 

Communal hot springs are commonplace in much of East Asia,
where most of the Diamond Princess’ guests are from.

But many of its Westerner guests aren’t familiar with the
experience. 

And they’re often a bit freaked out
by the idea of getting naked in public and jumping in a hot bath
with a bunch of other naked strangers.

The Telegraph
wrote earlier this month
about 

26-year old
Hiroki Matsuo, an attendant on the Diamond Princess whose job
responsibilities include making the ship’s non-Asian guests feel
comfortable with the idea of bathing naked.

“Even though the indoor baths are segregated into men and
women’s, foreigners are usually anxious when they learn that
nudity is compulsory,” Matsuo, who has a degree
in psychology from the University of Arkansas,
told The Telegraph
.

To ease them into it, he gives the guests a small towel to cover
themselves with until they’re in the water. He also suggests
patrons go earlier in the day, as it’s common in Japan to bathe
after dinner or before bed. 


onsen
An onsen in the Nagano
Prefecture of Japan.

Koichi
Kamoshida/Getty Images


There are a few different ways to enjoy the onsen
experience. One common method is
switching
from the hottest waters to the coldest. It’s
important to sit and relax rather than swim around. And you
should never wring out your towel in the bath. 

Routinely dipping into hot or cold water is becoming
popular in certain circles. Life coach Tony Robbins said the
final step of his morning routine is a five-minute stay in a
super-hot sauna followed by a jump in a cold pool. As
Business Insider’s Rich Feloni reported
, the cold plunge is
refreshing, and can kickstart your adrenaline and
endorphins.

There’s
some scientific evidence
backing up the health benefits of a
hot spring visit.
One British study
found that an hour in a hot bath can
boost metabolic health and cause an anti-inflammatory
response similar to exercise,” as Business Insider
previously reported
.

Matsuo has seen the de-stressing effects himself. “It’s not
a therapy, a surgery or a treatment, but it still causes some
kind of physical and mental change,” Matsuo
said

“Afterwards, many tell me they feel like a new person,” he
added. “I’ve seen some go into the baths looking grumpy and come
out smiling. And, surprisingly, a lot of people make friends when
they’re naked in the baths!”

Read the entire article on The Telegraph
here

Read Origianl Post Here