In the promised town of Onsens, one simply cannot spend half a year without entering at least few of them. Today I visited rather different onsen than the natural ones I went last month.
The original plan for today was to walk to Myoban, which is 5km from APU. Since the day was so lovely, we kept on walking past the family onsens and tourist attractions to Kannawa, the most famous onsen area in Beppu.
We found our onsen almost by accident, after deciding not to go to a public 100yen bath.
This onsen featured a sauna-like room, where we wore a yukata and went to lie down on floor covered in strays. There we were for 10 minutes, it felt almost like being in a sauna at home (though our weeds are birch, and usually we don’t have rocks under our heads)!
After the steam “room” (height was about 1,2m), we went to bath in the super hot ofuro. 750yen for this fun, I guess it’s about the average price or a bit higher than others. My skin does feel softer than before!
Next time maybe the most famous “8 Hells” onsens, who knows?
On Sunday we had a student trip to Kannawa, which is an area known for not only it’s hot springs, but also steam cooking. Geothermal steam has been used for cooking in Kannawa for over 400 years. According to the Jigoku restaurant, the over 100C steam contains lots of minerals and makes food more delicious.
Unfortunately, we did not get to steam our food ourselves, but it was already prepared when we got there. It was fun and interesting to see how it is done, though!
Even though it was only 11 am, the place was filled with Japanese, enjoying their sunny Sunday lunch (which made me drool, since of course our meal was not seafood except for few shrimp). One thing I found rather interesting, was that we cleaned and washed our plates after eating. In how many restaurants do you have to clean up after yourself?
After the steam food, we got to steam our feet and soak them in the warm water. That would have felt amazing after a long day of walking, but it wasn’t bad in the morning, either!
Next time, I need to go to an onsen! I am enjoying the ofuro in AP house, but I really want to experience the authentic bath. There are apparently several different kinds – the one thing in common is that they smell. Really bad.