- Title: JAPAN: Spa starts offering noodle bath
- Date: 19th July 2007
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MAKIKO SAKAZUME, 26-YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "It feels like bathing in a real noodle bowl." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CARMEN GRIFFIN, 19-YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "Gooey, Weird."
- Embargoed: 3rd August 2007 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA9UCSLANLWNQ1W3N3G9V5WEIQC
- Story Text: As much as sushi and tempura, Japanese love ramen noodles. They eat them everywhere.
So one spa house in Japan, which has offered various amusement baths, including a chocolate bath, has decided to tap into the national dish and start a yet another exotic bath - a noodle bath.
Because of sanitary regulations, the Yunessan (pronounced you-NESS-an) spa in Japan's hot spring town of Hakone was not allowed by local authorities to use real, edible noodles to put in their noodle bath.
So they have turned their spa treatment into the shape of noodles and put them in the broth - a watered-down version of the real pork broth used at a nearby ramen noodle shop.
Bathers opinions varied.
"Actually, I like eating noodles better than bathing in them," said five-year-old Madoka Kenmochi, after receiving "noodles" in her hands while bathing in the brown-coloured hot water.
A young couple seemed surprised to find out about the latest addition at the spa resort.
"I didn't even imagine to bathe in noodles," said 23-year-old Eiji Moriyama.
Moriyama's girlfriend Makiko Sakazume added: "It feels like bathing in a real noodle bowl."
However, for some foreign tourists, the experience was rather strange beyond exotic.
"Gooey.....Weird....., " said Carmen Griffin, a 19-year-old tourist from the United States.
Spa officials say taking a dip in the noodle bath is good for health as ingredients in the broth such as pepper collagen help improve the bather's metabolism and cleanses the skin.
"Lately, people are very concerned about having beautiful skin and they know the effect of collagen, which is contained in our pork-based broth," said local noodle shop owner Ichiro Furuya, who has helped the spa open this bath. "At this bath, everybody can have fun and take advantage of the healthy elements of ramen noodles," he said.
The Japanese spa resort offers dozens of other "amusement"
baths, including a wine bath, a coffee bath, and a sake bath. In the past, it has even offered a curry dip. A ticket that allows access to all these baths costs about 3,500 yen (30US Dollars).
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