Sauna styles around the world

Good morning everyone,

It's going to start out nice this morning, but we've got some rain coming in the afternoon, so you'd better take your umbrella. Tomorrow will be more like yesterday, but then the cold weather will arrive with a blast-highs from Wednesday all through the rest of the week will be only around 13C or 14C.

Onsen or hot springs are such a popular destination in Japan that many communities depend on their famous onsen to spur tourism. But it’s not just in Japan where natural springs and spas attract visitors. Twitter user @ItchyFeetComic shares his experiences from traveling around the world via his comic Itchy Feet, and one of his latest pieces perfectly captures the unique way some countries experience a hot spring or spa.

sauna comic

There’s a lot to love about this short five-panel comic, not the least of which is the placement of the towel on the Japanese participant. But it is clear by the order of the characters talking that the Japanese tradition of being fully naked when relaxing isn’t the weirdest on the list. Someone who doesn’t visit spas often might wonder about the purpose of the hot rocks that the American mentions, and for those who associate sweltering heat with hot springs might raise an eyebrow to the Swedish request for icy waters. But it’s hard to fathom what part of being hit by people with tree branches the Russians find soothing.

▼ It apparently looks something like this.

That is the beauty of traveling the world though, the chance to experience local customs and really get a chance to understand a culture. It’s always important to learn a little bit more about the people in the world we live with. You can avoid cross-cultural mishaps, and that little bit of understanding helps turn “that country over there” into “where my friend Lulu is from”, or in this case, “that place where Anna hits her friends with branches when they relax.”

It's true though-for me a sauna means hot rocks, but I'd be up for jumping in an icy lake to cool down after a hot sauna...being hit by branches though? Hmmm...I'm not sure. How about you? Would you give it a whirl?

Have a great day!

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