Friday, July 21, 2006


I spent the long weekend in my hometown where people celebrate obon then. (More precisely, obon was from July 13th to 16th). If you’re interested in how we celebrate obon at my parents’ house, click here.

Usually I take a train halfway and then a bus to go to Muroto. The train is a special one with a deck, and passengers can enjoy the coastal view from there when the weather is nice. This time I managed to take several shots there.

View from JR Train (Gomen-Nahari Line)

Back in my hometown, I had a chance to walk by the elementary school that I went to. Mom told me that it was officially closed last April, and people are now discussing what they should use the building for. It’s sad.

On the other hand, the small fishing port was equipped with modern machines that I had never seen in my childhood.

But the boats were exactly the same as before. Believe it or not, elementary school kids swam in this fishing port in my childhood. Of course I did, too. Our school didn't have a swimming pool.

Something old and something new -- they always co-exist in small, underpopulated areas in countryside. It is because the local government tries hard to boost the local economy in every possible way while the old folks continue the fishing and farming work that their grandparents were doing there. They enthusiastically advertise “the local specialty,” and in case of Muroto, it is deep sea water. Now in my hometown, deep sea water is used in almost all food products that use water as an ingredient or that are boiled or washed with it. Oh, not just food products. Shu Uemura has a factory there to make lotions made with deep sea water.

And this summer, they opened thalasotherapy facilities that use deep sea water for the therapy. The place called “deep sea world” near the cape Muroto consists of basically two facilities: "Utoco Deep Sea Therapy Center & Hotel" run by Shu Uemura and "Bade Haus Muroto" run by the city (if I'm not mistaken.) The former is an expensive esthetic treatment center with accommodation facilities, and the latter is more like a fitness gym with no workout machines but “Bade pool” which is specially designed for water exercises, water massage, etc. And of course, the pools in both facilities are filled with deep sea water.

UTOCO Deep Sea Water Therapy Center & Hotel

Bade Haus MUROTO (Is "bade haus" a German thing??)

The Deep Sea World is about 10 minutes drive from my parents’ house. According to mom and her friend, the Bade Haus is already quite popular among the obachans in nearby towns because the water exercise is refreshing and kind to their joints, and the fee is not terribly expensive. But they are scared to try the expensive “esthetic treatment” at UTOCO. :D

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to try the bade pool this time, but maybe next time…

I’m really interested in how these new attempts are going to affect the future of my hometown and the people living there. The water exercise in deep sea water may extend their life expectancy even more (!) (I'm not kidding. A recent report says that deep sea water can suppress helicobacter pylori.) The elder people in my hometown looked already pretty old to me when I was a kid. In my childhood memories, they were always working in the field wearing typical farmers’ outfit. And now the same grandpas and grandmas in the same outfit may work in the field the same way as before, and also enjoy floating in the ultramodern therapeutic pool once in a while. It sounds kind of funny to me, but I like it. And I guess the same blue sky and the blue ocean in my hometown will remain the same for a long, long time, laughing at the small efforts we make one after another in such a short span of time from their point of view. :)

posted by obachan, 7/21/2006 03:08:00 PM


Hi Obachan,

I just got here via your food blog.

Badehaus is actually German, consisting of two words that were put together: Bade (comes from the verb baden - to bathe) and Haus (means house).

So Badehaus roughly translates as "house for bathing".

Bye, Nora
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8/12/2006 4:40 PM  
Thank you, Nora for your information. I think the name of this facility sounds better in German than its Japanese equivalent.
commented by Blogger obachan, 8/18/2006 3:49 PM  
Dear O S, hope to get to Shikoku in a few months. Want to attempt part of 88 temple Pilgramage then found the Deep sea world spa in the 88 route guide book. No utube info , found you. Thanks. Elana
commented by Blogger Unknown, 12/26/2013 10:04 PM  
Hi Elana,

Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you're coming to Shikoku.
Hope you have a chance to try deep sea world spa when you get here. ^^
If you want info. about something, let me know. :)
commented by Blogger obachan, 12/26/2013 10:28 PM  

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