Sometimes my grandma used to take my sister and I to a public bath near our home when we were kids.
It used to cost us 30 cents each.
We loved to go to the public bath with my grandma.
In Japan it is quite common to go to a hot spring (Onsen or Sentou) in public. It has a great culture and atmosphere. Everyone washes themselves at small showers, before going into the large communal baths.
Just before dark we would take our own towel and pajamas and go to a public bath near our home.
My sister and I always got quite excited walking to the Sentou.
There is a distinct bath scent and I still miss the old wooden smell. In Winter they sometimes put yuzu citris in the baths too.
Sometimes when we went there, we would see our neighbours, and my grandma used to talk a lot with them. My sister and I had to wait a long time for those endless conversations.
We washed each others' backs. It may sound strange to you, but it is a part of our culture to have baths together.
We used to count to 100 slowly when we were in the deep hot bath, and sang songs in the steam.
After the bath my grandma would buy a lemonade each for my sister and I and we drank it on the way home.
I used to sip it slowly so that it lasted for a long time...
The sweet and fresh taste of lemonade is slightly different from the one here in Australia. The shape of the bottle was quite unique and pretty.
Less and less people go to Sentou these days in Japan. A lot of places are modernised.
The Sentou we used to go doesn't exist anymore. When I went back to Japan, it had changed to a modern boutique.
It has been living on in my mind. These nostalgic memories and the scents come and go just like an old broken film in my memories.