On Feminine Hygeine, Toilets, Public Baths, Dudes and common ailments-
Please only read this section if you have the stomach for it. I would never print this in Japan.
- Amazingly, tampons in Japan do not work well. Bring your own! If you find Supers in Japan, please take a picture of the box and send it to me.
- Wind or heat driven dehydration, coupled with hours in the saddle can cause urinary tract infections in even the most fastidious females. Pop a couple of cranberry pills (that you've stowed in your first-aid kit) at the first sign of discomfort.
- Japan is famous for its sophisticated toilets. Perhaps there is a heightened awareness of toilet going that you are not sensitive to. Toilet privacy is important to many Japanese women
- You may experience a squat toilet. Straddle, squat, and face the hood.
- Some campgrounds have pit toilets. Some, thankfully have pits with valves. Plop, drop, shut.
- It seems like toilet paper is common everywhere in Hokkaido now, except for train stations. You can buy tissues for 10 yen.
- Peeing in the wild? Please use a leaf.
- Most Japanese people don't openly criticize others, but the bath house seems to be the exception. It's apparently open season for bitchiness. Do it right every time, and you can avoid having a crabby naked woman in your face.
- Don't let anyone in an o'furo or onsen see your tampon string.
- Scrub yourself silly before you get into a bath, even if you see an old lady just splash water on herself. Better to double what the average person does. She's a pro and you are an amateur. You have to make them understand that the tan is not dirt.
- Wash the thing you sat on, and the bowl you used to soap up, and move it all out of the way for the next person.
- Have a small towel in tow, and take a cue from others as to how they use it. Every bath has its own way, and sometimes you can sit in the sauna without sitting on your towel, sometimes not.... Remember, you want to avoid confrontation, and have a nice easy time- maybe a conversation or two in the bath house.
- Not one woman in Japan has shaved her pubic hair, so unless you want to make a statement, it might be best to go with the flow.
- Rotenburo in Hokkaido can be mixed sex. It can be a bit racy for a woman to brave it alone, but it's not a problem. You can also wait until 9pm, when everyone is asleep.
- * 'Sorosoro' is something you can say when you want to leave. That drunk guy is boring the heck out of you.... Say 'sorosoro' a couple of times slowly, and just back away. He saves face, understands you want to leave, and you get away.
- * If someone invites you somewhere and you don't want to go, you can say it's 'chotto', or you're 'chotto'. It means- a little. You don't have to say that it's a little boring, or you feel a little like throwing up. It's a subtle way of saying no, and it works without hurting feelings.