It’s 7:15am on a monday morning (weekend after spring-back daylight savings to boot) and I’m be-gowned and getting conveyed into the tomb or otherwise known as an MRI machine. I know, what does a MRI have to do with any trip to the spa to relax? I guess it was a combination of what I was dressed in a cotton robe and quite ready to fall back asleep. It’s kind of how I felt when my husband and I got to the sand spa in a town called Beppu in southern Japan this past October.
Getting into a very tight space where I can’t move and try not to think of the fact that it’s like being buried alive is one of those things that I really don’t enjoy. We all have our cope mechanisms and mine is to use my imagination. I imagine myself in a relaxing place where I was wearing a robe while being buried alive in the hot sand. This place was the sand spa found in the village of Beppu, Japan. It was where I had visited months before while traveling around Japan for a month. It was hard to relax at first. Getting over the anxiety of being covered with the hot, steamy and heavy sand was difficult at first. After a fair amount of deep breathing and meditating, I was able to get to the point of total relaxation and I ended up enjoying the treatment. My skin felt great and I would do it again…really. My goal in the MRI was not necessarily enjoy myself but to relax and get through it. I didn’t want to have a do over. So, I forced myself to go back to Beppu and imagine I was again being buried in the hot salty sand. It worked and I didn’t have to go in a second time.
The fall visit to the Sand Spa or in Japanese Suna-yu on the Beppu shore in southern Japan is Japans answer to Las Vegas. It’s famous for its hot springs of various colors and mineral types and of course the sex, gabbling, African Safari Park, Rakutenchi Kid Park, Aquarium, a day of seeing monkeys at Mount Takasaki with all of this in a town that often smells of rotten egg or sulfer. We decided to spend our days here relaxing and enjoying as many of Beppus Japanese Spas as we could visit. It wasn’t possible to visit them all in 3 short days but it’s on the list of places to go back to in the future.