Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shonin-Yu(上人湯)



This is another hot spring on my walking tour that I figured I should check out. The buidling is nice and only a few years old. In fact it was some architectural award from the city. The hot spring was one of the many in the area originally founded by the monk Ippen Shonin way back in 1276. The water was hot, but the nice guy in the tub didn't mind me putting some cold water in. Actually, Jude dealt with the heat better than I.
The tub was tiled light blue. I like that color. Reminds me of the onsen in Kamegawa called Shinoyu.

The onsen is unmanned. You have to pay 100 yen at the cafe across the street. They give you a wooden token that you hang on the wall to "claim" your spot in the tub. This is normally a members' only onsen, but non-members can enter if they get the token.
Even Mayor Hamada is a member (See photo)

There is no free parking nearby unless you sneakily leave your car at the Everyone convenience store.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Shibu-no-Yu (渋の湯)

This is a free municipal hot spring in the Kannawa district, one right on my walking tour course. I figured I had better check it out. Jude and went on a slightly rainy Saturday afternoon. It was nice and warm and a bit salty like most hot springs in this area. It was pretty well kept for a free, unmannned onsen and it just plain felt good on the skin. Some people don't like the salty slightly smelly hot springs but I do. Jude sure did. Didn't want to leave. I had to threaten to leave him there to get him to budge. What's new.
The only free parking in this area is in front of Netsu no Yu hot spring, or if you don't mind a walk, at the Marushoku grocery store on Route 500.
The onsen stamp is kept at the Mushi-Yu Hot Spring Sauna across the way.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oniyama Hotel(おにやまホテル)

Today we broke down and used our free hot spring coupon. We went to Oniyama Hotel, one of the biggest hotels in the Kannawa area and one of the stops on my volunteer guided tour.

The hot spring was trademark Kannawa, slightly yellow and a hint salty. Feels great on the skin. I thought the drains were a little dangerous for the litte one because they were kind of loose. Other than than, we loved the outdoor bath. It is very spacious with mysterious green ighting and some big trees and shrubs to make it feel secluded even though it is a stone's throw away from the highway. Jude like the big palm tree.

If you have time, stop by the lobby to check out the TOGO Seiji painting. It is a massive , one-of-a-kind original work valued at 100 million yen!

Regular price: 800 yen, open till 9 PM. Parking for 4 out front.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sakura-tei(さくら停)

Well, after a cold winter full of colds and infections, and more colds and general blues, the sun started shining brighter and longer and we decided to get back on the mission. Our goal, as states over live AM radio in Januray, is to finish the 88 onsen mark by the end of 2006. That is 5 to 6 onsen per month, considering that we have now completed 41.

Sakura-tei was a modern looking inn. Clean with mellow lighting. Jude loved the fish tank. The hot spring said it was 100% from the source, but it wasn't really that hot. In fact Jude announced when he got in that it was "nurui," lukewarm in Japanese.
It was warm enough to warm us up after a drive to the African Safari nature reserve. Jude loved all the animals and after the 40 minute drive he said "one more time Daddy." We have an annual pass, might as well go next week too.

At the hot spring, Jude did not want to leave. He also did not want to give back the Anpanman slippers they let him wear. Cried and screamed. he likes to do that a lot lately.

In any case, this was nice hot spring to jump start our mega-tour. The view from the bath was of Kannawa. Plenty of steam and you can see the Castle across the way where a giant python lives. Haven't been there yet so I can't tell you why there is a giant python in a castle.

Sakura-tei has plenty of parking and it is 500 yen for adults. Weeny kids are free.