Thursday, November 22, 2007

Japanese secret onsen (3): Naruko onsen

You will notice immediately that you have gotten off the train in the correct station. The moment you set foot in Naruko onsen, Miyagi province, the chife of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide) will slap you in the face. Gradually the impact diminishes and finally attenuates to an almost pleasant intimation.

Check into your hotel or ryokan, quickly check out the bath there and buy one of the 湯巡り手形 (yumeguri-tegata) multi-passes and walk around town in your yukata and geta and visit onsen after onsen. One of the onsen, the Waseda Sanjiki-yu - see photo above, was built by students of famous Waseda university. The higher up in the town you go, the hotter the baths will get. Where the street ends and turns into a path disappearing into the woods, you'll find Takinoyu. This bath is the hottest bath I have experienced in more than 10 years of onsen hopping. Slowly lower yourself into the water, try to avoid all unnecessary movement and avoid disturbing the water touching your body that has cooled down by your body temperature.
Health warning: make sure your body can handle the temperatures and many visits to onsen in one day. ^_^

GPS Waypoint

Camera: Pentax MZ-3, lens: SMC Pentax 35-80mm - 1:4-5.6