Bathtubs and Robes

12.07.2012 § Leave a comment

A Cultural Difference

I got into the habit of taking hot baths after experiencing the hot spring bath culture in Japan, and I started to notice the difference between the hotels in Japan and the US. First, the bathtubs in Japan are shorter but deeper so the water covers a person up to her neck. By contrast, the hotel tubs in the US are longer but shallower. If a person wants to warm up her knees and shoulders at the same time it is a bit hard. One has to sit up straight to soak her knees or lie down completely and bend her knees to soak her shoulders in hot water. Atami Hot Springs

Atami Hot Springs

Atami Hot Springs

I also noticed that the hotels in Japan always prepare you with a toothbrush and toothpaste and a pair of disposable slippers.  None of these could be found at the Minneapolis Hilton I checked into when I visited our representative in Minnesota.  Both hotels provided bathrobes, though.  The US hotel bathrobes usually, almost uniformly are made of white terrycloth while the Japanese robes were always pleasant surprises.  The Japanese hotels provided Ukata (a summer kimono made of cotton) as the bathrobe, and each hotel had their own print and color as if it were a logo.  Some were quite memorable.

The Ukata I had at the Atami hot spring resort hotel was a heavy cotton, rib weave ground cloth with rectangular checks of indigo and white further textured with horizontal stripes and, in different areas, half moon shapes in chamomile yellow.  The robe at the Imperial Hotel in Osaka was a thinner, plain weave, white ground cotton with an indigo calligraphy print.  It became a treat to open up the drawer every time I arrived at a hotel to see what kind of Ukata the hotel had to offer.

Ukata Example

Ukata Example

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