Whether you’re walking up the quiet hillside of Japan’s rural towns or moving your way through the bustling streets of one of its busy cities, you’ll never be too far off from a house of one of the local hot springs, called an onsen.
The environment of Japan’s lush islands is full of these hot springs, which has encouraged inhabitants to bring them into their everyday life and culture. Throughout history, their trips to the onsen have transformed into rituals of cleanliness, comfort, and clarity.
There are over 3000 onsen in total around the country – but no matter where you go, the rules will be the same.
Here’s what you need to know!
What is an onsen?
Onsen are bathing infrastructures around the many naturally occuring hot springs that are geothermically heated underground by the volcanic activity of the land.
What makes the water special?
These springs contain a variety of 19 minerals, some more present than others in depending on their location, and all believed to be highly beneficial for skin and health. The water is always at least 25 degrees celcius when it comes out of the ground, but it can be much hotter, and while this is known to be very good for blood circulation and muscle tension, it should be approached with proper hydration and time mediation.
Where can you find one?
Every city and town will have an onsen within or nearby it. Onsen can be both indoors and outdoors, and can be public or private.
What are the rules of using one?
The rules of onsen use are quite sacred and extremely strict, as follows: 1. You must bathe yourself before entering the onsen (a rinsing shower is almost always available, but check first if you are in a very rural area). 2. You must bathe without any clothes or suits – the onsen are an entirely bare affair. Towels can be worn for modesty up until entering the water, where they can be placed on the side or atop your head. 3. You must check if the baths are separated by gender, and bathe according to your gender. 4. Your head and hair must never enter the water. (It’s also not good for your facial and scalp skin, so no reason to mess with that!) 5. Tattoos are almost always strictly prohibited, due to the nature of their association with gang activity in Japanese culture. There are a few places now, especially in the cities, where certain bandages are allowed to cover tattoos, so be sure to check and bandage accordingly if this applies to you.
The thing about everyday objects is that most of the time, what you see is what you get. Here are some photos of everyday items that had some surprising and fascinating things hidden inside them.
What’s in Our Backyard?
So we always knew that mollusks produced pearls, but we never thought that one could find opals in a fossil. This is beautiful, not only is the opal mesmerizing, but the fossil itself makes us want to go scavenger in our backyards and see what is out there waiting for us! Next time one of your kids brings you back a shell of sorts, don’t disregard it. You may discover a precious stone inside!
Periodic Pants of the Elements
We’ve seen many cheat sheets in our day – we’d be lying if we were to say we didn’t use the occasional cheat sheet back in school. Although nothing we have ever done could ever live up to this – it gives “tricks up my sleeve” a whole new meaning, this time instead of “sleeve” it’s pants. We hope that whoever used this trick received a 100% on their test – after all the hard work that was put into sewing these pockets in – they sure deserve it!
For Whom the Bell Pepper Tolls
Don’t you just love how certain food items can come in a variety of different colors? Think of vegetables and fruits such as apples, tomatoes and peppers. There seems to be a variety of different colors associated with these and there are usually a number of factors that determine what color they are at any given time. What we didn’t realize was possible though was that a green pepper could grow inside a red one.
Orange You Glad?
Have you ever peeled citrus fruit on public transportation? If the answer to this question is yes, you have probably also encountered the nasty looks of other passengers as you peel. Imagine peeling an orange in its entirety on a bus only to find out that there is another orange waiting inside of your favorite citrus fruit. Awkward, yes. But it is also fascinating, all things considered. You gained a whole extra fruit!
Whoever bought this should have been suspicious the second they read the words “shoe deodorant.” It doesn’t seem like the worst idea, and shoe deodorant seems like something we would invest money in. That being said, we don’t think we’d be too pleased coming home and realizing we had just bought women’s antiperspirant. This is one heck of a scam – they went all out when designing the plastic wrapping for their Power Force spray, using the same colors as the original bottle.
Looking at this screwdriver, all we can think of is writing a children’s book called The Little Screwdriver That Could. A story about a screwdriver that had to dress up like a bigger tool so that people would take it seriously. It worked long days and nights until one day, it grew so strong, it broke through the bigger tool and surprised everyone with its strength. Okay, so maybe this story is a little far-fetched, although you have to admit – you imagined the whole thing happening!
Biting into a grape and realizing it isn’t seedless is our definition of disappointment. On the other hand, biting into a grape and realizing that it is, in fact, two grapes is a whole different story. We’re the kind of people who pop whole grapes into our mouths, so if it were us eating these grapes, we probably would have missed this. Perhaps this is a lesson in taking your time – you never know what wonders are lying inside every bite!
For those who may be unfamiliar, a “Hidden Mickey” is a representation of Mickey Mouse that has been subtly inserted into the design of a ride or attraction in a Disney theme park or animated film. We’ve spotted a couple of Hidden Mickeys here and there, but we’ve never seen one this hidden! This clothesline is a rope made up of…Mickey Mouse? Most people would be upset that their rope has become infringed – perhaps that is why the manufactures hid a little surprise inside?
Just My Luck
Betting money on a number is risky business – there has to be some strategy, statistics, and well – just plain luck. What if we were to tell you, every time you rolled a die, there was another die inside? This means that every time you rolled the dice and lost, you may have been rolling the right number all along, it’s just it was hidden underneath a bigger die. Talk about bad luck, huh?
We’re usually not into cheap products. We’d rather pay a little extra for something we know is going to last us longer. But honestly, this is a great way to recycle old toothpaste boxes. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you’re on a budget and must buy yourself a cheap iPad cover, this is the way to go. Plus, this is a great way to ensure your iPad stays in mint condition (no pun intended).
A True Queen
So that’s where the missing pawn went! It seems like someone was very upset about losing at this game of chess – so upset that they threw the queen against the wall and, to their surprise, found a pawn inside. Let it be known that we are totally against violence, but if someone’s already throwing a tantrum – this is a great way to ensure they calm down, take a step back and see the beauty in things, even when they are broken.
A True Cutie
Um, have you ever seen anything this cute? Yea, we didn’t think so! After seeing this mini tangerine, we are pretty sure the internet can stop producing content because it has reached its peak. What good have we done that we deserve this – did Christmas come early this year? How one would go about peeling a mini tangerine is beyond our understanding, but we’re so glad they did. We didn’t know we needed this – but now that it is in our lives, we feel complete.
Blessing in Disguise?
Warning! Your childhood may be ruined after reaching this, so if you want to keep your innocence, we recommend you continue scrolling. And for those who dare – it turns out those cool slap bracelets are just tape measures in disguise! Those sneaky tape measures, dressing up as funky, fashionable bracelets thinking we would grow up never noticing. Well, guess what? It took about 20 years, but we did notice! And we are upset.
Our Best Friend, Herbert
While eating lunch, this Reddit user found a tiny crab inside of one of their mussels – actually inside of the mussel itself, not just the shell! In this photo, the crab doesn’t look that tiny, but that’s because this photo is focusing on the shell. Try picturing a mussel shell, they’re pretty small, right? Now that you have that image in mind, imagine how small this crab is! It’s so cute, we just want to scoop it up and adopt it as a pet. We’d name this little fellow Herbert. Don’t ask us why, that’s just his name now, alright?!
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
Nature is simply amazing, there are some things that we will never understand. How an apple manages to sprout inside of itself just happens to be one of them. This seems like some sort of miracle, doesn’t it? Or maybe this is something that was taught in biology when we just weren’t paying attention? Whatever the case may be, we love this, and we love that we’re still surprised by things and that nature has its way of proving that we may not have the answers to everything!
We’ve never seen anything like this. Someone was reading their Steven Erikson book when suddenly they realized that something in the plot had drastically changed, like something out of another book. That’s when they realized that they were reading a page out of a Stephen King book! An amazing twist of events if you ask us – we just hope they didn’t miss much with that mixed up page! How do you think something like this happens?
Cheaper by the Dozen
This seems to be a recurring theme in nature! Instead of egg yolk, when this person cracked open their hard-boiled egg, they found another egg inside. We can’t help but wonder if the second egg turned into a hard-boiled egg as well or if it needs another couple of minutes in the pan. Maybe eggs really are cheaper by the dozen – or was this a buy 12 get one free kind of situation?
Lucky Number Eight
The core of a bowling ball is an arrangement of other balls?! We can spot at least four pool balls – which explains why bowling balls are so heavy! It all makes sense now, the number written on the bowling balls is the number of pool balls hiding inside each one. Are we reading too much into this scenario? It seems like a sensible explanation as to why pool balls are hiding inside bowling balls. Also, who was strong enough to break a bowling ball open?
Art Imitates Reality
What are we looking at you may be asking? Well, lucky for you, we have the answer. This is what the inside of a golf ball, that happens to be stuck in a tree, looks like. It’s quite beautiful if you think about it, this ball merged into the tree and grew with it – their fate was to be cut down together. We love this shade of magenta, and this could actually pass as a piece of art, in our opinion.
A Piece of My Heart
Yet another surprise dog toy! This time, it’s Yoda’s heart. Perhaps this is the manufacturer’s way of telling the dog owner that it’s high time they throw the toy away. This poor pup is confused, she was so used to playing with her Yoda, and all of a sudden, something popped out of it! Don’t worry, girl, we’d be confused too! It looks like her confusion didn’t stop her because she started tearing through the heart – look at those bite marks!
Hitting Rock Bottom
This may seem like a cool rock inside a rock to you – and it has a much more interesting story than one would think. This rock is a product of a weathering rind. We didn’t know what that meant either, so we looked it up, and we have the answer for you. This is the same rock – it’s just over long periods of time, fluids can get inside rocks and change its chemistry. It happens from the outside in and can be fragile, so these rocks can break off into pieces, exposing the original rock!
We always knew that tadpoles turn into frogs through the process of metamorphosis – but we didn’t know that frogs turn into pigs? For some odd reason, there were sculptures of pigs inside of this garden sculpture of two frogs. Our wild guess behind this story is that someone that worked at the factory where these statues were made hated the pig sculptures so much they hid them in the frogs, making them “magically disappear.”
We love chocolate in all forms, melted, in cake, in squares – if it has coca in it, we want it! Seeing a tower of Ferrero Rochers sounds like a dream come true. It’s a “don’t mind if I do,” kind of moment, you know? So imagine our disappointment when we opened up a Ferrero Rocher and realized it was styrofoam. What kind of mean-hearted person would do this? Oh yeah, we know, the kind of person that wants to keep people like us away from their display towers. Touché, man, touché.
Have you ever fought over who needs the charger more? We know we’ve been there. It goes a little like this: “I only have 20% battery left”, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, your little sister yells, “WELL, I ONLY HAVE 8% SO HAND IT OVER!” And just like that, you’ve lost – there’s nothing you can say that will make her give you back the charger. Why on earth would the manufacturers of this phone charger hide the extra USB plug? It’s like they want us to continue fighting with our siblings!
We don’t read Russian, although its times like this when we wish we did. We just want to know if the translation of whatever is written on this “super glue” is, in fact, super glue and not something else. What if we were to super glue something vital together only to have to break it apart again seconds after we finished putting it together? This is going to have us double checking all the products at Office Depot next time we go – nothing is what it seems anymore!
A Vampire’s Worst Nightmare
We’re probably the biggest garlic fans out there, and this is something we’ve never encountered before. When you buy garlic, you’re sure you’re investing in cloves, right? Well, whoever bought this garlic was in for a big surprise when underneath its peel, this turned out to be one big garlic clove. All that’s left to do is get a big loaf of bread and make some garlic bread. You’ll be warding off vampires for the next year or two – that’s for sure!
Knock on Wood
Ikea has made it very easy to purchase cheap, high-quality furniture. That doesn’t mean all cheap furniture is good though – sometimes you learn that the hard way! When you’re buying furniture, you’re going to want to make sure that if you’re buying something made out of wood, it is, in fact, made out of wood! This “wood” table is made out of cardboard. It turns out, it’s possible to make furniture that isn’t meant for children, out of cardboard.
Um, excuse us, what are we looking at here? It is possible that throughout our whole childhood Barbie’s horses were made out of Barbie herself? Our hearts hurt a little just looking at this – although if the explanation behind this is that instead of throwing out the rejected Barbies, they repurposed them into a horse’s tail – we are here for it! We applaud companies that use their waste for good use! Come on, Barbie, let’s go Barbie!
Well That Was Unexpected
This person was absolutely heartbroken when just before Christmas came around, their beloved ceramic Santa Claus sculpture smashed and the head fell off. However, what made the entire ordeal so much more bewildering was what was lurking inside. While we can’t confirm exactly what it is, it seems like the cheeky little thing that popped out from inside has horns. It’s almost as if it is yelling the following: “Hey, look at me!” This wasn’t the Christmas present we were looking for.
Have you ever seen the movie Inception? You know, the one that was directed by Christopher Nolan and stars the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy. Well, the important detail is that the movie is about a group of spies who go on missions in dreams within dreams…within dreams. Well, we couldn’t help but compare that to the following onion. As you can see, there is a smaller onion inside a larger one. We simply had to call it an inception onion…
The last time we checked, dinosaurs had gone extinct millions of years ago. And yet, it seems like this military truck is carrying what seems to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex, seen from behind. Whatever this military entity is keeping as a secret from the government, they don’t seem to be doing a particularly good job. At least keep the T-Rex sealed and away from the public eye. Otherwise, you’re going to get photos like this one leaked onto sites such as Reddit.
Newt Just In!
Maybe it’s the fact that this person zoomed in on whatever we are looking at right now. For some reason though, they claim that the big object in the photo is a mushroom. We’re struggling to believe that but for the sake of the photo, we’ll just say it is to save us some time. What we can’t dispute is the fact that this person found a tiny newt inside the mushroom in question. We didn’t realize newts were such big fans of fungal foods.
If you’ve ever tried a cornetto, then you know that it’s one of the best ice creams in the world. Simply devour that ice-creamy goodness and make it all the way to the end of the cone to find that chocolate delight at the bottom. However, that wonderful experience can sometimes be disrupted. In fact, the following rarely happens. This person found a fully-wrapped cornetto inside the middle of another one. How bizarre must this have been for the person who bought it?
We’re So Shellfish Right Now
It’s amazing what can be found inside the middle of a rock if you somehow manage to open one up. You could find a precious stone, for example. But this family couldn’t believe their eyes when they found a perfectly preserved shell inside this one. “We found it broken like that on a beach in Wisconsin. We found the indented side first,” the person wrote on Reddit. “Searched for about 30 min. before finding the other half about 10 meters away.”
This is Cact-Us
The dog toy seems to know it will eventually end up chewed up and destroyed. This is a smart way to ensure your pup makes the most of their toys. Even if they do end up tearing their dolls apart, there is a backup doll beneath waiting to be tossed around!
We Meant Boxers, Not Boxers…
Have you ever wondered what’s inside a punching bag? Most people don’t really care what’s inside, as long as they have a tough enough bag to take their frustrations out on when they are feeling angry or upset. Of course, professional boxers also need punching bags to train for their big fights. This aspiring boxer discovered something weird inside their punching bag – clothes. “Our punching bag finally ripped apart only to reveal it’s filled with old clothes,” the person wrote on their Reddit account.
What an Anime-zing Discovery
Mousepads aren’t exactly the most important thing to get excited about. They make it easier for you to move your computer mouse along a surface and it also prevents one from making noise in the process. Then there is a wrist pad, which does exactly what the name suggests: it gives your wrist some support while you are using the mouse. This person though their wrist pad felt kind of weird and was determined to see what was inside. This is what they found…
Hoo Are These Little Guys?
Many people enjoy having sculptures and objects that resemble owls in their homes. After all, owls are regarded in many cultures as symbols of wisdom and are believed to scare off many negative energies. What if you end up cracking open your ceramic owl one day though and discover that there is a collection of tiny Buddhas inside? That must surely be some sort of good luck. You thought you had destroyed something, only to find something even greater inside.
Halloween is a truly special time for millions of people around the world. Many of us like to dress up, go trick-or-treating and hang up a variety of decorations during this spooky time of the year. There are plenty of families who enjoy hanging up decorations of classic monsters such as Frankenstein’s monster. However, this family was seriously freaked out when they discovered that there was a piece shaped like a human head hiding inside the plush toy of their Frankenstein.
Two for the Price of One
Not everyone is blessed to have a swimming pool in their backyard. For those of us who live in warm climates and come from an affluent upbringing, we may have enjoyed growing up and being able to dive into the pool during the summer holidays. We can’t help but feel like the following “pool within a pool” idea is kind of futile. Surely one pool would be enough. One thing is for sure – there won’t be any diving in this pool any time soon.
Just a Softy On the Inside
If you were ever to find a table that appeared to be made out of concrete, you would assume that it was concrete on the inside too. However, looks can be deceiving and this person learned that the hard way. One day, they were sitting on the edge of the table, only to feel it break and as a result, fall off the edge. Only then did they discover that the inside of the table was made out of styrofoam.
Very Chewy Indeed
It is useful to have a number of toys around the house so that our dogs can have a good old chew on them. However, some toys can be a little too chewy for their own good and sooner or later, our pooches will discover what is on the inside. What appeared to be furry and soft was actually extremely chewy and gave off some sort of weird, crinkling sound. Sure enough, the dog found a completely destroyed bottle on the inside.
You’re Simply the Nest
The one problem about having a balcony is having to deal with any bugs or birds who want to give you some company. However, what if the pests in question can not be seen? Well, surely that means “out of sight, out of mind,” right? Well, this guy was in for a rude awakening when he leaned a bit too hard against the railing. “I broke the balcony railing by leaning against it and found a wasp nest inside,” the person wrote on Reddit.
Give Me a Break
At first glance, this Kit-Kat bar looks normal. Well, it isn’t – it isn’t normal at all! The layers to this Kit-Kat bar are vertical when they’re supposed to be horizontal. Now that you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it, right? Imagine biting into a Kit-Kat and finding this! Although this may ruin your trust in chocolate bars for the rest of your life – it isn’t that big of a deal. Perhaps Willy Wonka is summoning us to his factory?! Wonka, we are on our way!
After a long hard day outside, there’s nothing we love more than to crack open a can of soda pop. It would be a rude awakening, fantasizing about opening the can and realizing there is another can underneath it. Is one of them considered soda and the other considered pop? Is this the universe’s cruel way of telling us we need to stop drinking soda? Is our dentist behind this? Dr. Winter if you have something to say, come and say it to our face!
When we told Teddy we thought he might need a diet, and we didn’t think he would take it this far! Is this what bears look like after hibernation? If so, please bears – stay in hibernation forever. This is very scary, and we do not understand why this was marketed as a children’s toy! Teddy is made up of two legs and a head, and let us just say, we know who is going to visit us in our dreams tonight…or should we say nightmares?!
The Giving Tree
Talk about persistence! Someone chopped down a tree and found that the tree had a thinner tree growing inside of it! It seems as if the larger tree started growing where the smaller tree was and couldn’t be bothered to grow around it, so it decided to grow through it. The smaller tree eventually merged into the larger tree, but at the end of the day – they were both chopped down. At least they were together in the bitter end.
Who’s A Good Boy?
We’ve seen a couple of dog toys on this list, but this one has caught our attention the most. It looks like this specific toy was meant to be torn apart because what you see underneath is a totally new toy that looks like it’s waiting for a pup to chew it up. This fluffy pig is just a decoy, what lies underneath is a buff pig that’s going to look you straight in the face as you play fetch with it!
Surprise Monk Mummy
This may be one of the coolest items on our list. This statue of a sitting Buddha contains the remains of a one-thousand-year-old mummified monk. The contents of the statue were discovered in the 1990s when the statue underwent restoration. What is believed to be the only such example in the world was found by accident, and we’re so glad it was found because this is one of the most interesting things we have ever seen! Unfortunately, experts were unable to remove the mummy due to the risk of disintegration.
If you’re an amateur fisher that goes out to catch some fish, you know there is a chance you may be coming home empty-handed. When you finally catch a fish, you feel like you have conquered the world, right? You reel the rod in, excited to see what you managed to catch. Imagine all this happening and then seeing this! We’d be terrified, so much so, we would probably let these two creatures go – going home empty-handed.