I spent the greater part of today walking around naked.
I braved the trains again today, and with a lot of help from the guy at the service desk, managed to not only catch the right train but get off at the right station, not a particularly huge achievement as it was only the next stop. However after alighting the train it seemed like I had been transported a much greater distance.
I had found a guide pamphlet in the hostel earlier that day that promised there was a bathhouse walking distance from the train station next down the tracks. Having no other plans yet I set out to find the promised onsen.
Now Narita still hold all the hallmarks of being close to the city, but nearby after alighting at JR Shimousa Manzaki Eki it is a very different world. Less than 10 minutes by train and you feel like you've travelled hours into the countryside. I leave the station following my handwritten map copied from the onsen's website, pass a few small shops, and suddenly I am amidst beautiful traditional houses, with manicured gardens and hedges, and most of all rice fields.
Needless to say I got lost, but after some great directions from a cute little old lady tending her vegetable patch, I righted myself. Only 5 wrong turns this time, I am improving. I eventually discovered the Yamato no Yu bathhouse. I entered and received my locker key, made a few simple gaijin (foreigner) mistakes, like not removing my shoes in the right place, and almost missing the showers. I had stripped off, and finding myself not as self-conscious as I thought I would be stepped into the tannin stained water. Heaven.
There are no words, the relaxation is absolute. Oh my onsen