There are certain things you accept when you go to a music festival: you probably won’t sleep well; You will spend too much money; you get dirty The dirt itself is part of the festival look – unruly hair matted with sweat, body tanned by a layer of dirt. Fortunately, this is less true of festival life in Japan, where natural hot springs greatly improve the situation and actually add an unexpectedly enjoyable dimension to party culture.
I’m by no means a hardcore raver or festival goer. I felt out of my element, but very much in the elements at Balance, a stripped down version of a popular electronic music event in Gunma Prefecture in Fall 2021. Relatively new to Tokyo, I had decided on a whim to travel to the festival with three new acquaintances, and as I lay on my back in my tent, sleepless, overexcited and quite hungover, I wondered if I had done the right thing Selection. It had been almost two years since I’d been to any live music event, and the cold and fear were gripping my joints.
I ventured out of my tent and saw a short line in front of a booth that said “Coin Showers”. Seeing people holding their toiletries and towels made me shudder at the thought of paying for a 30 second dip of cold water. It was then that I was informed that some of the people my group had met with were leaving for the United States onsen (hot Springs).
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