Secret paradises

Some more traditional Japan!

Fields like in the middle of Europe

Rough bare stone terrain, traditional bamboo forest, pine tree forest, fields and various different vegetation was passed during a hike to the secret onsen. After hiking in the sun for almost an hour, the reward was tremendous.

 

Steaming hot mineral water

 

Beppu is known for its’ hot springs, onsen. There are several onsens around the city, most of which are spa-like and run by entrepreneurs. My first onsen experience here was different – these onsens were in the mountains, completely in the natural state, and free of charge.

We decided to pretend we don’t understand the several warning signs

A girl was killed in the onsen where we went a year ago, thus there was several sign warning about going to the onsens a)alone, b)with only women and c)during night time. In addition to that, there was another sign regarding proper code of conduct.

 

Beware of suspicious man and car!

 

After the first two onsens (one pictured above, plus a mud onsen next to it) we continued to a third one even higher up the mountain. The last onsen we went to was apparently rather popular among Japanese men, so as to respect their privacy (and private parts), I don’t have many pictures.

Steaming hot water, next to streaming cold water

The onsens would be perfect during night time, to watch the stars. Also in the winter I can imagine that sitting in the hot bath would be spectacular – getting out would not be so pleasant. The road to the onsens was very poor, so in the winter time it might be tricky to drive there by car. Walking in the dark would definitely not be an option, either. We had a chance to boil some eggs in a hole that had boiling water – next time we were thinking about having a picnic with more food to boil and steam. What a better way to spend a day, than hiking, and then chilling in the hot bath and eating food prepared in the nature.

 

Nature at its’ best
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Niagara

What’s a trip to Toronto without the Niagara falls, eh? I have seen some pretty impressive waterfalls elsewhere, but nothing compares to the volume of these water masses.

Water, the key to life

I was lucky enough to have my friend take a road trip with me to the falls. We visited the over-kitch “creep street” and its’ surroundings, and took the Maid of the Mist cruise (19.27$/person) to the falls.

Tourists cramped up in Maid of the Mist like sardines in a tin

The village around the Canadian side of the Falls is a combination of attractions such as 3 wax museums, laser tag, minigolf, and 3/4/6D movie theaters. It haves fast food joints and classics such as Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, and besides Starbucks, there is also of course Canada’s favorite coffee spot, Tim Horton’s.

Ice cream and hot dogs – the foundations of a good holiday

TIPS:
Niagara Falls: if you go on the Maid of the Mist, pack extra pair of socks
Travelling: For a long bus trip, take water with you! If you want to sleep, eye mask doesn’t hurt, either.
Air travel: Request a special meal – You get to eat before others even get their food. If possible, choose a seat from the front – You can leave the aircraft earlier. Take an empty water bottle – you can fill it after security check.
Pack facial wipes in hand luggage – the refreshment is needed.
The eye mask.