Saturday, June 04, 2005

Nabeyama -yu(銅山湯)

Secret Hot Spring Volume 1
When we first started this onsen tour, I began looking for the cheap onsens. I came across 3 that were listed as free and 24 hrs. Upon closer inspection, I came to find out why: these were "secret onsens." Not all that secret, but off the beaten path, I guess a better term would be "all-natural." It just sounded so intriguing.

So it was nice Saturday afternoon, not too hot , not too cold, not too sunny and not too windy. I took Jude and we were off! After inspecting the map, I found that the onsen weren't that far off the actual road, and the road there was nicely gravelled. (I have been on worse driveways back in the US). Jude and parked on the side of the road and started hoofing it. Met some nice ladies who were picking berries and fern frawns.
The road wound up the valley with Mt Ogiyama across the way (this photo)

A little further up and the road ended at a big-ass boulder. Remind me not to come here when the weather is bad. This was the entrance.Got a pic of Jude there for posterity.DSC02432

From here you follow a sulfur orange stream up the hill to where the onsen is. It is called Nabeyama-yu, or "pot(i.e. pots and pans)-mountain spring." The landscape stars looking like Mars (see below) and it smells of rotten eggs, but in a good way...

The actual bath is well kept. Got some good people in Beppu. There is a tube of water too for those who like their baths lukewarm. Our original plan was "feet only," but Jude soon got himself all wet so I let him in all the way.

And he is well self-censored to boot.
Since there are no stamps here, a photo will suffice as proof that you were here for the 88 onsen rally. I think this photo will work nicely.
There is also a natural mud bath here. I took a photo only, but would like to come back someday and try it out. It seemed popular with all the old dudes who were there. DSC02437

So we had a good day. We were gonna try to get to another "secret" onsen , but were quite tucked out after our hike. next time I'm gonna take the car rigtht up as close as we can get. May not be the most environmental of options, but it sure beats carrying a tired wet kid out of the woods.
I must say this place was great. Good for all you motocyclist types. Tear up in your dirt bike, get naked, have a mud bath, tear home.
I was overwhelmed by the "green-ness" of Mt. Ogiyama. This is the mountain they burn every spring in a ritual festival. Got a snap of the car barely visible in the sea of green. DSC02439
Today's adventure was "excellent!" I can't wait to go back and find the other 2 "secret" onsens on the list.

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