Breakfast the next morning was at 8:00 and was to be served in our room.
We got up early to check out the baths (usually ryokan switch the bathing areas in the mornings, so if the women's bath was on the right the night before, it would be on the left in the morning. Confusing, but this is so you can enjoy all of their bathing areas.)
Usually Satoshi takes a longer time than me but we came out at the same time, I told him we should go check out the sakura across the street at Onsen Park.
We changed and went across the street.
The rain had lifted but it was still very cloudy. And there were still some soggy spots here and there. Again the forecast was for rain, but we had a nice walk through the park and were ready for breakfast when we returned.
Breakfast was kaiseki-style and there were many dishes.
We had chagayu (a rice gruel with green tea) and many other dishes.
An interesting condiment was their chatsukudani (seasoned nori with green tea leaves mixed in). A little bitter, but good on rice.
A local dish, yudofu is tofu cooked in hot water, when the water turns cloudy, it is ready to eat.
This tofu is eaten with a sesame shoyu sauce, grated ginger and katsuo bushi (dried bonito).
We were debating as to what to do with the weather being rainy off and on.
In the end we decided to go back to Takeo Onsen and explore the area.
Before leaving Ureshino, we bought some tea (black tea from Ureshino and herb tea from Takeo) and tea sweets (a green tea financier called Hikicha Furian by Suehiro-ya Kashiho).
We took the bus back to Takeo Onsen and ordered our lunch...Saga-gyu Bento from Kairo-do, a tiny cafe inside the JR Takeo Onsen Station.
Apparently they have won awards for their bento in the Eki-ben (station bento) category.
Our first place to check out was the Romon. Apparently this gate was built in 1915 by Tatsuno Kingo, the same architect who designed Tokyo Station.
The lady at the gate said that they only open it to the public one month out of the whole year! Apparently this gate was restored 2 years ago.
On the property there are many bath houses and there are also historic baths which are no longer in use, these were huge!
Then on the suggestion of the lady at the gate, we raced across town to check out the 3000 year old camphor tree on the grounds of the Takeo Jinja.
You could feel the power from that tree! It was definitely worth racing across town to see it.
We then rushed back to the station to pick up our lunch and then we were back on the train towards Fukuoka, where our adventure began.
Our bentos were so good! Satoshi had their kalbi bento and I had their sukiyaki bento. Each bento uses A5 rank Saga beef, a ranking they use in Japan for brand name beef.
I think A5 is the highest ranking. The meat was so tender and very flavorful.
I have a feeling the guy sitting in front of us was rolling his eyes every time we oohed and aahed over our lunch.
The weather wasn't all that cooperative, but we got to see, do and eat a lot.
I hope you enjoyed our adventure as much as we did.
JR Takeo Onsen Station