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Published: June 25th 2019
Onsen Explorer. Day 10. Goshiki Onsen.
The forecast was good today and we awoke to a bright sunny sky. Our accommodation was a little third rate with scruffy toilets and rooms. The toilet window had not been cleaned since the Shogun visited in 1678. Smoking was allowed and the rooms stank. Whilst the rest of the group ate a superior western breakfast of bacon and egg with fresh croissants Paul and I had guess what? Fish, followed by fish, followed by fish soup, followed by seaweed on rice, not forgetting the squid - delicious.
After breakfast I went into the small harbour and watched little bent ladies and men gutting fish. A prize morning photograph was a kite sat on a pole which stayed long enough to get a good shot with the light in the correct place. Once on the road we were buzzing along at a great speed with little effort. Was it our superior power today or was it the cyclists dream - a tail wind? The sun and blue sky made the coastline idyllic with rocky volcanic outcrops and even the tunnels were pleasant because of the coolness after the hot sun - I’m not complaining. Did
I ever say
that there were tunnels in Japan? Tea break, at 30km, was by a small lighthouse and a statue of the
Benkei Samurai who ruled this area several hundred years ago. There were toilets available, as usual, at fairly frequent intervals in Japan. Unlike England where the fools in charge are closing them down. Apparently the English no longer need toilets. Another 30km along a fairly flat road where we saw a couple of herons and a weasel like creature crossing in front of us. The fishing villages are still untidy with a littered coastline but this improved as we headed inland past some quite prosperous looking farms growing rice, potatoes and onions, with newish looking tractors and machinery. Lunch was at 60km at a small rest area where curry and rice was on offer - nice one. It was quite funny when we got out the chopsticks and put the spoon to one side and the waitress chuckled at how well we handled them. Not knowing we use them a lot at home. At 80km and a stop at the Lawson store for a caffeine rush we started the 20km climb at 7% or so. Part way
up a dead snake was seen at the roadside which made us think it was one of our fast riders in trouble. Most reached the Goshiki Onsen up in the sky by 3.30pm in dire need of a hot soak. Nice rooms and a decent meal followed by a whisky and sake tasting session for some. The onsen is fed by pipes coming down the hillside 300m above the Ryokan from a hole in the hillside. The water is very sulphuric and too hot to touch - it smells too.
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