Fredric Waldorf's New Layout - Experience Japanese Hot Springs
by Fredric Waldorf

Gardens and hotspring hotels on Fred's new 4' x 5' Japanese Onsen layout.

Before the introduction of the Japanese Hot Springs is explained, I would like to share a reason why I built in the middle of the train layout table (mixture of five different Kato and Tomax trains on 4”x5”) with you. Two trains are running on the mountain and three trains are running on the ground. It enables me to change my mind anytime if I want to replace it with a new one so you can remove the part without a problem. To make sure, every material is glued. You can create several different layouts like fishing lake, farms, sports, etc. for the middle of the table. They will excite and motivate you!

I decided to build Japanese Hot Springs Center, which is called the Waldorf Wellness Center for my layout because I never forgot what I did embarrassingly and awkwardly when I entered the hot spring with my nude body in Hakone “Onsen”, which is located at the foot of Mount Fuji in Kanagawa prefecture. I was unaware of the hot spring culture especially etiquette. I thought that I was allowed to walk around with my nude body. One male person approached me with his gentle smile and gave me a hand towel to cover my penis. To my surprise, no one at the admission office gave me the towel. At that time I could not read the instructions due to the Japanese language. As a conclusion the Japanese culture helps me better understand and value with respect. Now I have good memory!

Onsens are Hotspring fed baths.  

Let me focus on the introduction of what is “Onsen”?. Japan is a chain of volcanic islands so 150 sites hot spring sites, with 14,000 individual springs can be found all over Japan. In fact the bathing in hot springs first became popular in Japan more than 1,000 years ago. It was originally limited to aristocrats especially for warlords and Samurai who needed to heal battle wounds in the hot springs. An “Onsen” is a term of for hot springs, or hydrothermal springs. It may be “volcanic in origin or simply ground water that has seeped deep into the earth’s crust and become warmed by the rocks near the mantle”. There are eight different kinds of hot springs such as simple springs, carbonate springs, slat springs, sodium sulfate springs, iron springs, acidic springs, sulfur springs and radium hot springs. Therefore “Onsen” bathing is a part of Japanese culture and a lot of its custom.

If you familiarize yourself with the local way, you will enjoy the hot springs even more. They have taught me how to use “Onsen” etiquette and next time I will feel more confident in enjoying myself in the hot springs! They will make you feel relaxed, good and young again!

Also check out Fred's other layout article here.

Fred's 4' x 5' layout with 6 train and tram lines!
Golden temple scene Trains running through summer foliage
Rock climbing area Main resprt area
Resort center plaza Basic layout plan
Lovers' pond  




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