I'm a huge fan of hot springs (or Onsen), it is just about the best thing to do yet, and thus far I think I probably enjoy going for it by myself. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is right on our list and we head over there right after breakfast to spend half a day soaking and hanging out. However little did we know it really exceeded my expectation for my first Onsen experience!
1) Getting Tagged, Lockers & Getting Changed
Lockers! That's the first things first, like how you entered Japanese School. We would first be given a pair of indoor slippers and the shoe locker would be for our... shoes of course!
Upon entry, you'll actually receive an electronic wrist tag (or bib) that would be used as a payment system to determine how much would be charged at the end. It's a very hassle-free way for accounting and in fact, it makes things really efficient throughout the whole theme park experience.
After which we got ourselves changed, where we are given different designs of Yukata to choose from! You're also taught how to wear them if you're confused!
2) Food & Entertainment Atrium
The food area is huge, not forgetting the large sitting area and arcade bazaar where you can play tons of minigames from ninja stars to fishing. I like how the crowd control is really decent and it doesn't felt like it's too suffocating. We got some sushi and shared a hot pipping ramen before we head to the main onsen area for a soak! It was a great area to just hang out, socialise honestly.
We checked out the outdoor feet soaking area at first, I also have to play IG slave where I helped her getting her OOTD taken. Here's my very unglam and shameless shot.
3) The Many Hotspring (Onsen) Area
Leaving the onsen for the last segment to write on, it was extremely embarrassing for me at first as I had my towel covered the last bit of my dignity as I was waddling into the onsen area. The hot mist slaps across my face upon entry and I could feel myself starting to sweat alittle.
I hopped in between the different onsen, making sure I tried them out myself. It was an actually pretty comedic riot in there; the youngsters are jumping from pool to pool, some kids are splashing water at each other, an elder is dozing off at the side. We actually have to shower first before going in, and I'm pretty sure that I'm the few "newbies" who do that. Most of them actually jump straight into the onsen pools.
There are quite a variety of pools of onsen to choose from; from the outdoor ones, the indoor ones, the ones with rocks where it kinda massages you, and the super cold ones. There's also a sauna too, that really helps you to "sweat" everything out at the end of the day. It was felt surprisingly natural to walk around in full nude, while I tried different onsen, taking a chill, and zoning out in my own world!
In hindsight, after checking out Joypolis, Diver City and Oedo. I'd definitely rank Oedo first for travellers who would love to immerse themselves into the onsen and Japanese culture. There're way more locals than you think and I like how the place is very foreigner-friendly if you can't speak/understand Japanese.