Coffee Break (Monthly Report) September 2023 issue

Marshall Elliott Ginsler Viner Exchange Coordinator

The charm of Japan's nature and hot springs

Hello.This is Marshall Elliott Ginzler Viner from the International Lounge.The summer heat continues, but how are you all doing?

Since I came to Japan in August, many people, including my colleagues and friends, have started asking me things like ``What do you think of Japan?'' and my impressions of Japan and what I like about Japan.I like many aspects of Japanese culture, but recently I climbed a mountain for the first time, and I found Japan's natural beauty and hot springs particularly appealing. At the beginning of September, I climbed Mt. Tonodake in the Tanzawa Mountains with two colleagues.On the mountain road, I was surrounded by greenery, and I could see the ocean, city, and forest from the top of the mountain, and I was able to enjoy the beauty that can only be found in the mountains.After coming down from the mountain, I went to a hot spring with my colleagues.I soaked in the hot water in the open-air bath, bathed in the sunlight filtering through the trees, and worked up a sweat in the sauna, which was a great way to relieve the fatigue from my tired body from mountain climbing.

I can't explain it well, but I feel that being exposed to nature somehow calms my mind and helps me change my mood.And, needless to say, hot springs feel great.Unlike the suburbs of Toronto, Canada, where I was born and raised, I thought it was great that there were many places in Japan where you could always see mountains, oceans, rivers, etc.I also realized once again how good it is that there are public baths and hot spring facilities all over the place where you can rest and relax comfortably and at an affordable price.In Toronto, the culture of bathing is not as widespread as it is here.Few people in Toronto take a bath at home, and the bath and toilet are usually in the same room.I was surprised to hear from a colleague that Japanese people often take baths on a daily basis, but looking back on my past experiences at hot springs, I realized that it was definitely worth it.

I would like to continue enjoying Japan's nature and hot springs to my heart's content.