Nuns, flesh, and tattoos at Folsom Street Fair pre-view. Cold fog never discourages nudity.
So I finally made it to the famous gay nudist beach in Chiba. It’s near Namihana station, just north of Onjuku. You really need a friend to show you how to get there since it involves a long walk or short taxi from the station. You start at a lagoon, trek through a lot of mud, pass the “do not enter” sign, through a long wet tunnel, descend with a rope, and watch the cliff edge as you reach the beach.
I had heard all these stories about how sexual and “shocking” the beach was. Actually, it seems very innocent and friendly. Lots of regulars who live in Chiba who were super chatty and spent a lot of time posing for group naked photos. It’s far from Tokyo but gorgeous!
In the summer heat, I have suspended my regular sento visits: enjoying gratuitous single-sex neighborly nudity and soaking in a large hot tub. Although I prefer going to the “yakuza sento” Hagaromo in Nishi-Shinjuku, where tattoos are allowed, the nearby “Magic Sento” is lovely, too. The owner’s son performs a weekly magic show in the lobby.
“Don’t get arrested”. So the husband warned me when I told him I was going to the sentou (銭湯) to relax and help me get to bed soon for an early morning job call with the U.S. tomorrow.
Don’t get arrested” is a a delightful over-statement and also conveys that perhaps I am uniquely capable of being imprisoned for my moe (萌え) interests.
Without a doubt the husband uses the phrase to echo my mother’s inappropriately saying the same unpleasant phrase (for instance, when hearing that I had to hand out $20 bills to interview skateboarders for a large corporate web design project).
Anyway, I visited the sento in old Nishi-Shinjiku which my gaijin (外人）friend M. showed me last week. While there are plenty of places in Japan for single-sex nudity, it is one of the few that allow tattoos. The first time M. and I went together there were no tattoos, but large numbers of attractive young men bathing at 1 am before closing. Tonight I went earlier, and was delighted to see four handsome sleeves and one full back piece.
Here’s a web image of a sentou. The only one I could find with partial nudity.
And here’s the dangers that perhaps the hubb imagined. (I was imagining something more along being abducted as a yakuza bride).