I like Japanese baths and therefore took the long trip to Funaoka Onsen located in a remote residential area of Kyōto, Japan. I got a towel and managed to find the right way to the men’s locker room and changed my cloth. In the shower I found the first big cultural difference: people sitting on small plastic benches produces soap foam until they are covered in large white clouds.
After a thorough cleaning you can find different indoor and outdoor pools at this community bath. Some were really nice (like the hot outdoor Onsen), some were pretty disturbing like the electric pool were you get some electric shocks in the water.
Japanese people get more open when they are in private. I experienced this in the zoological garden of Tōkyō – and in the sauna at the Funaoka. When I came in I saw three seniors watching a Japenese game show on a television behind a glass window – I never saw that in an European sauna. As I was suffering from the heat they were making jokes and were laughing friendly when the gaijin was leaving fastly again after entering. 😉
Murasakino Minamifunaokachō, 82−1