"Is the temperature alright for you ma'am?" my Japanese attendant asks in a polished U.S. accent as he cheerfully heaps another pile of hot sand on my torso.

"It's perfect."

Pleased, he pats down the sand — from my neck to toes — with his shovel, before inviting me to relax and enjoy my time inside this iconic Kagoshima attraction: the Ibusuki sand baths.