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Monday, May 19, 2014

Onsen Time!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Finally!  I can get my soak on...our original plans were to go to Beppu, soak in the onsen, then go see some monkeys but I was reading a post somewhere that we should go to Yufuin instead.  I looked up some pictures and I was ready to go!  Yufuin is about a 2 hour train ride from Hakata.  You should make your reservations early for the train ride, when I went this morning Randy and I had to sit in two separate cars because it was all sold out.  Our train was leaving at 9:24 and the next two trains were completely sold out.  So we had to ride alone on the way over.  We bought our return tickets right away for the 5:07 train (which was perfect timing by the way, just enough time to enjoy everything without rushing) and we were able to sit together.

From the moment we got off the train I knew I was gonna like this town.  It was beautiful!  A quaint little place surrounded by green lush mountains...

Streams along the way...

The main part of town is very walkable but most of the onsens are up the hill so you're gonna have to catch a taxi

With such a short time to research the area I found it hard to find a place that had private baths open to the public.  Most of them I read were for the guests of the hotels.  But luckily I found this one:  Shoyanoyakata.  A private (family) bath costs 3000¥ per person for one hour, and you can buy a towel for 100¥.  The cab ride cost us 880¥.

It was perfect. It even came with a little shower with soap so you can wash off before and after your bath.

 After our bath we were gonna walk around the property, it was really pretty.  But a taxi pulled up to drop off more guests so we grabbed the cab instead.  We had him take us to Lake Kinrinko.  It wasn't much of a lake, more like a big pond.

A big pond with some big ass ducks!


On the way back to the station I noticed that there was a snoopy restaurant!!  Soooo cute!  I wanted to eat there but there's no way Randy would've...

It was a pretty hot day so I stopped for an ice cream cone.  I guess I didn't understand what the guy was asking me, maybe if I wanted a kid's cone?  I almost died laughing when he handed me this.  It was about half the size of a McDonald's cone!

Don't ask.

And in case you're wondering, yes.  He does eat.  A LOT.

 I saw this train when we walked past the station.  Cute yah?

The hot springs are so abundant that there's fountains all over town

I saw this online and was looking all over for it.  Can you guess what it is?

Ohmygawwwwwd.  It was HOT!  I could only last 5-10 secs at a time.  Pretty neat though.  In case you're looking for it, go to the big store on the right once you get out of the station.  Go past the bakery into the courtyard and you'll find it back there.

Yes.  It was that hot.

Sayooonara Yufuin!  Hope to visit again someday...maybe I'll spend the night next time :)

That little container is cheesecake.  It was very good.  Almost like Zanze's in San Francisco

Beware of the fox when getting off the train!

This was one of the prettier commutes.  I still fell asleep but at least I got to see some of it!

Back to Hakata

Not sure what's in store for us tomorrow, it's our last full day here.  You're just gonna have to come back and see! :)  G'night!



Kalin's Mommy said...

That was nice! I give you credit for going on your own (no tour guide)...I asked Len if he would dare do that, unfortunately he said NO. Haha! Shucks...

Les said...

awww bummers Michele, Japan is easy enough since a lot of stuff is in English and we can somehow get around with the little Japanese that we know. We went on a tour once with both our parents and it was temple, temple, temple...not enough eating, eating, eating! hahahaa!

jalna said...

So cute that town. Too bad you neva check out the Snoopy place. I looked it up. It's a teahouse and it just opened up a month ago. If I was with you, I woulda gone in there with you . . . uhuh . . .

Les said...

awww man, I guess we just gotta go back then! :)

Les said...

Jalna you would love this place!

Nippon Nin said...

My husband and I love this town! So charming! There are many cute little stores there. We stayed three days in this town tough we wished to stay longer, if the inn we stayed was not so expensive.

Yeah, you will love this place Jalna.

Les said...

When we were researching around there we were debating whether to stay overnight or not. I found a ryokan for 12900¥ per person/night, with a private onsen in our room. I was ready to book it but we weren't sure if there was gonna have enough to do there for two days. We stayed 2 nights in Amanohashidate and it was too long. One night would've been enough over there. Now I'm bummed because Fukuoka was such a bust yesterday I could've spent the day soaking in the bath!!

Nippon Nin said...

Hi Les! I had to show this post to my husband. He goes like 'let's visit this place again'. I said 'No, we need to discover a new onsen place' but honestly, I don't mind go back...we didn't have the soft serve ice cream then.
This is really a fun natsukashii!

Les said...

How funny, I actually wouldn't mind going back either...I'll be sure to find a different ice cream stand too! :)