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Published: June 17th 2019
Onsen Explorer. Day 3.
Monday 17 June. Sakura Onsen
It was raining when we arrived yesterday and it lashed it down all night. Things are looking bad for today. It has been decided to take the local bus at 9.20 to iutfirst break stop in the valley at Ishinoto. Despite this bad news we had a good stay at the Ryokan with the relaxing onsen an amazing meal last night and a good Japtbreakfsst this morning. These Ryokans are certainly not 5 star hotels but traditional hostels with wooden structures, flimsy sliding doors and fibre or paper walls with tatami mats on the floor of the rooms. During the evening meal someone comes along and makes up your bed of a thin futon on the floor with a bean bag pillow and a nice duvet. Sleep tight. All in all a great experience which you will not find anywhere else. There is also a slipper ritual where you leave your shoes at the entrance and use their slippers which are not handed and can easily slip off, especially on stairs. Upon entering a toilet you have to change slippers for some more awaiting you at the doorway. The onsen is
another experience. In your room you find a Yukata with belt and jacket which you dress in. You then take the two towels provided to the onsen. A basket is provided Where you put your large towel and your Yukata. You take the small towel, which you use for modesty, and go to take a good shower sat on a small stool with all the soaps provided. You then dip into one of the Onsens putting the small towel on your head or on the edge of the pool. Often there is an outside onsen and maybe two indoor ones, all of different temperatures of up to 42 degrees C. When finished you take a quick shower, dry of roughly with the small towel and then go to the changing room to dry off thoroughly, if you can due to the heat and humidity.
Back to the cycling. It was still raining hard at 9am when wet were due to start so it was decided to take the regular bus for the first leg. We all jumped on the bus - with one exception - Paul had decided that he had other priorities and was nowhere to be seen when
Manhole cover. No 1
More to come, you can be assured.
we boarded and thinking he was at the back of the bus it set off without him. Luckily the van was still there and he jumped into that and met us at the stop. After 25km of bus riding we put on our kit and began cycling on a wet road but with only a fine mist of rain. We followed a picturesque full running river uphill stopping at the kumoinotaki Falls. This was followed by a good descent and another small climb to our lunch stop by the lake. After skirting the lake there was a long climb and a great fast descent (for some) to the tea break by a lovely wooden bridge and water wheel by a shrine.
The last leg was 20 km with a couple of small bumps and a pleasant ride along a narrow valley with rice and vegetable fields. The Ryokan was just before a long tunnel going into Odate. Dinner was a nice banquet again after a lovely dip in a very hot onsen until my fingers went curly. Long live the onsen.
Tot: 0.413s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 11; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0196s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb