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Published: June 23rd 2019
Onsen Explorer Day 8 Kenichi Onsen. Yakumo. Hokkaido.
Several travellers this morning were not yet ready for another Japanese breakfast and the convenience store across the road had an increase in business and a potential shortage of sandwiches for the locals at lunchtime. Northwards we cycled along the coast all day starting with an overcast sky which turned to rain at tea break. We huddled under a tarpaulin and donned our wet gear. Someone who is a proper tourist even donned a cape which saved him
from a drowning by lunchtime. Lunch was at Asashi where there is a replica Dutch 17th century trading ship built in 1988 and is now s museum. The early birds ate pork curry and rice until the rice ran out and the later ones had fish noodles or sandwiches and pastries from town. The rain slowed somewhat and we restarted only for some laggards to miss a turning and ride 2 km extra on the pretext of scoping the town for a future visit to eat more fish and sea urchins. Sea urchins shells were in abundance along the roadside having been dropped by the seagulls to break them open before devouring the contents.
Sea urchins were on the menu last night but several were waving their tentacles on the plate as if to say ‘Please don’t do it.’ I couldn’t bear to see such an innocent creature be devoured so I left it alone. We had the longest ride today at 106km along an undulating coast which made the ascent towards 1000 m. The last 5km was into a headwind up a slight incline to the onsen, the sight of which was a big relief to many, especially since they were wet and feeling like being warmed up. The inside onsen was really hot and the outside was quite warm and pleasant without giving the hands the premature crinkle treatment. I am
hoping that the iron in the water will penetrate my skin to avoid any likelyhood of anemia and to give me a little tan for the summer. What a great dinner tonight, meat, onions, bean sprouts etc in a hot plate with salad and warm fish with mushrooms- the best yet. Added to this we had 3 bottles of Saki between us. I was sat next to Lyta who is tea total so I had a double Dose. Result.
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