Losing My Body Fat in Japan

Me and Fellow GSE Participant, Kathy, Before Our Beauty Treatment
Me and Fellow GSE Participant, Kathy, Before Our Beauty Treatment

Friends told me I would lose weight in Japan, thinking my palate wouldn’t tolerate raw fish and other new tastes. As I lay on the medical-like table with the lower half of my body snuggly fit into a long, nylon bag, I realized they were right. I spent an afternoon in the city of Shizuoka indulging in the slim life experience at Art Beauty, an aesthetic salon.

Prior to getting into the sleeping-like bag, Yuki, the young technician, slathered my thighs and stomach with a clear, jelly-like substance. My legs, waist and stomach were then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Once complete, she zipped me into the “comtheran,” a full body exercise machine. An air hose stuck out of each leg and I wondered how in the world this would reduce my body fat.

Me, Getting Skinny
Me, Getting Skinny

She placed a towel over my breasts, patted them, giggled and said, “Big.”

Returning her smile, I hoped my chest remained the same size after the process.

She turned on the machine and asked, “Okay?”

“Hai,” I nodded.

Being left alone, I realized why she asked if I was okay. The bag was constricting slowly, almost like a snake tightly squeezing its prey. Feeling uncomfortable and finding it difficult to breath, I maintained my composure and called out.

“Help. Um. Help. Tight.”

Apparently, Yuki nor the other staff members knew the meaning of these words, and no one came to my rescue. The tightness intensified and just as I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out, the sleeping bag relaxed. A pattern of constricting and contracting continued for 15 minutes. This repeated process massaged my body to promote blood circulation, which is supposed to reduce body fat. I felt light headed but trimmer after being released from the bag.

Me & Green Tea Facial
Me & Green Tea Facial

I was led to an area where my body fat and metabolism were measured. Turns out my metabolism rate is higher than the average Japanese person and my body fat is 15 points above normal. The importance of nutrition and exercise was lectured to me. It reminded me of being home in the States.

My almost-naked, curvaceous body was led to the “giggle machine.” Face up on another medical-type table, I anxiously awaited the next process. I heard the roar of a machine charging up and before I knew it, Yuki was rubbing my body with what looked like a white, plastic, vacuum cleaner hose. Unlike a vacuum, the air blew out and I could feel and see my fat ripple as she rubbed the hose over me, head to toe. The air tickled my sensitive areas and I couldn’t help but laugh.

A purifying facial followed. My face was wrapped with gauze followed by an application of a green tea mixture using Shizuoka Brand Tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and vitamins good for revitalizing and purifying the skin. While my face soaked up the benefits of green tea for 15 minutes, my hands and feet were pampered to massages, taking me to ultimate relaxation.

My hosts that night commented how much my face radiated and how much slimmer I looked. Admittedly, my jeans fit a little looser and less of me returned to the States.

Art Beauty Staff Who Made Us Beautiful
Art Beauty Staff Who Made Us Beautiful

Finding Art Beauty
Art Beauty has many locations throughout Shizuoka Prefecture. This is the address for the salon I visited: 1-2, 4F Tenma-cho, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka-ken. www.emuart.jp

Art Beauty is a division of Nihon Health Mate Co., Ltd.

Train: Take the Tokaido Shinkansen or Tokaido Main Line to the JR Shizuoka Station. Follow Tenma-cho north, Art Beauty is on the right.

This story was originally published in To Japan with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur (To Asia with Love)


You can donate to the Red Cross to support the recovery or any organization of your choosing.

Shizuoka Things To Do on raveable



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

4 thoughts on “Losing My Body Fat in Japan

Comments are closed.

Stars at the Frankfurt, Germany, Christmas Market, Dec. 2015
Featured Solo with Others

The Best Way to Experience Germany’s Christmas Markets

Psst. Want to know a secret to the best way to experience Germany’s Christmas markets? I’ll tell ya. It’s a cruise with Viking River Cruises.

Continue Reading
Rose in the Mist at the 9/11 Memorial, New York City, N.Y., Feb. 2016
Inspiration Life Lessons Politics Solo with Others

I Visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York and This Happened

I didn’t know her but unknowingly standing in front of her name etched in bronze, I was heavy with sadness. Blinking away tears and trying to hide them from my friend, I looked for distractions while he photographed the scenery.

Continue Reading
Amulets Made by the Tai Dam People in the Loei Province of Thailand, March 2015.
Featured Solo with Others

Travel to Thailand: Dancing with the Tai Dam People

During my March visit to Thailand, I tossed aside my inhibitions and danced with the Tai Dam people in Ban Na Pa Nat of the Chiang Khan district in the Loei Province. And yes, I did it without the assistance of good libations.

Continue Reading