In Nagasaki I got a chance to have my feet eaten by fish! It isn’t as gory as it sounds, these are special fish that just eat the dead skin cells off your feet. They are known as doctor fish or nibble fish.
It all happened in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki prefecture. There was a doctor fish foot spa there. It cost ¥800 for 10 minutes and seemed worth a go. First you have to wash your feet using a basin at the front. Then you get taken to the fish tanks.
In the first tank were lots of small black fish swimming around. You carefully put your feet in (being careful not to hit the fish), and then the fish start nibbling at your toes and feet. With these fish the sensation was a bit ticklish. Certainly not painful and you wouldn’t know that they were actually nibbling you.
After a few minutes the man running the foot spa decided I was ready for something stronger. He took me to another tank, this one containing bigger yellow and blue fish (you can see them in the video above). I lowered my feet in again and this time instead of a tickling sensation it felt like being poked with little pins. It didn’t hurt, but was a very different feeling from the first tank.
After my 10 minutes was up I was given a small towel to dry my feet and then I was sent on my way.
In the evening I had a look at my feet. They definitely felt softer and had less hard skin on than before. 10 minutes wasn’t enough to remove all the hard skin but it did make a difference.