Wait, eww, what are those fish doing?
They’re, uh, giving me a pedicure.
What? A pedicure? Haha, yeah, right, they’re fluttering around beautifying your feet? With their little fishie nail files?
They do it with their mouths.
What?! They’re biting you? What are they, baby sharks? You stuck your feet in a pool of sharks?
Not sharks, “therapy fish.” They zoom in and nibble off the dead skin with their little fish lips.
No. No, no, no, no, no. That’s disgusting. I want to un-hear that. Did it hurt?
No, it tickled.
Actually, I have to admit, it was a little more squicky than tickling. In fact, I sort of screamed when I first put my feet in the water and they all started swarming around. For the whole time I had to try pretty hard not to think of the word “squirming.” Or, uh, “worms.”
How long was “the whole time”?
Did it work?
When I got out, all the parts that were underwater were noticeably smoother! You should try it.
That’s what you always say, and look where it got me. Remember the snail slime face mask?
I rest my case.
If you’d like to visit the Oedo Onsen the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & a map are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had. The fish therapy hut is outside in the courtyard by the foot bath stream. Fifteen minutes costs ¥1575 for adults, ¥1050 for children.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!