Rte 24 in Okinawa is a curvy road near our house with all kinds of cool local shops and restaurants. Driving down it last week, I spotted this strange little establishment.
I actually thought it was a spa with those aqua massagers sometimes found in malls in the states in the 90s. I had never done one of those, so it was perfect for my challenge.
To my surprise, it turned out to be a OXYGEN Capsule. I had no idea what it was, but it seems to be a trend in Japan right now. I found this explanation here. They are thought to cure everything from a hangover to achy back. Have an important meeting this week and need an edge? No problem, get in the tank... need some bonding time with your 4 year old? Nothing like an oxygen tank to bring you closer...
I was a little afraid at first, but when I saw them unzip two of the chambers and two Japanese women popped out looking slightly dazed but refreshed, I took the plunge.
Essentially, I got into this pressurized chamber which blew oxygen out for me to breathe, can you imagine, for an ENTIRE HOUR! They zip you inside and seal you up airtight... you can't get out unless you push the distress buzzer. You can talk on a cell phone or play on your lap top in there, and it's large enough for a mom and her small child if so inclined.
So, how was my experience in the O2 pod?
Well, after the initial "Oh my God, I forgot that I'm so claustrophic I don't even park in parking garages panic attack" I felt okay. Drowsy and a little bored.
Recognize my feet?
When your hour is up, they have to depressurize you in increments, so you don't suffer from the Bends. Then after it was all over, they served me tea and donuts, of all things.
On a final note, my research online suggested that Oxygen Capsules may not just be for people anymore...