Kanda Myojin

Kusatsu Onsen

Japanese breakfast at 8am. I get used to it. The time; and the taste. At 9am I start the sightseeing tour. The temperature is still at 17°F and I don’t need gloves. Amazing. It is freezing cold but sunny and warm at the same time. First stop is the post office. Money. It is first day that is not a holiday. Money.

The Yubatake is like yesterday. Amazing and with a strong smell of brimstone. The fount is at the top. The water is running down long wooden channels. The water is cooling down and the brimstone precipitates. Yunohana. It it sold as medicine for a good price.


At 10:30am is a presentation of a traditional way to cool down water. All you need are a lot of long paddles and the same amount of beautiful japanese women. They stir up the hot water. The show also offers some traditional dances and songs. It is some kind of working song to syncronize the movement of the paddles. At the end of the show the tourist can try it. Nice show but the 500 yen are a little bit expensive.

So. That was the must-have-seen program of this town. I visit the shrine nearby. Like always there are many stairs involved. After that a bus brings me to a station in the mountains. Because I habe no clue, I get of at the wrong place; at the valley station the first rope way. But here I learn that the second ropeway uphill is closed due to heavy wind. Looks like the summit is no option anymore. I decide to walk. It is a 2,5 miles walk. Who cares. I have plenty of time. I try to walk off road but it is impossible. I sink waste-deep into the snow.

At the upper station the wind really is strong and stiring up the powder like snow. I have to learn skiing. It is a 1,5 mile ride downhill and the weather is amazing. After a short break I start the way back.

Sainokawara Rotenburo (Foto: Lori Kusatsu, cc-Lizenz)

After I figured out where I am, I walk to Sainokawara-Rotenburo. It is a public onsen with a really big outdoor tub. And it is not located in a city but outside in nature. This place is awesome. (No cameras allowed inside, therefore a picture from a website.) The inflow is at the rear end of the pond. With 140°F the water is running down the stones.  At my side the temperature is less boiling and more comfy (104°F). You can adjust the temperature by moving forth and back in the pond. The japanese know how to relax. It is snowing.

After the bath I walk back to the town center for some shopping. Dinner is at 6pm. Many tiny cups filled with delicious stuff. Wow, it is always plenty of food. The day ends in the rotenburo of the hotel. And like yesterday followed by a visit in the izakaya and another round in the onsen.

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