Tuesday, January 08, 2019

tokyo-kusatsu onsen

From where we live, it takes about 4 hours and a half to get to Kusatsu Onsen.

The reason why it took us so long was because we were using the Seishun 18-kippu, I've written about using this ticket previously, here.

By the time we reached the onsen, it was time for a late lunch.

There was also a steady fall of snow and the wind was fahreezing...the temps were -6C (27F)

I am usually good about checking the weather before our trips, but was totally unprepared for this weather...gah!

After leaving our bags with our hotel, we went in search of lunch.

Since it was fahreezing, we popped into Souan for some okkirikomi.

Okkirikomi is the local cuisine of the Joshu area (I think Joshu (joe-shoe) is the old name for Gunma).

It is a flat noodle in a broth with lots of veggies, kind of similar to Yamanashi's houtou.

Satoshi went with the standard miso version, while I ordered the tan tan style.

My version had soy milk in the broth, so it toned down the spiciness.

After lunch, we walked back to a fruit stand, Uocho, that I spotted on our walk from the bus station to the center of the town, and bought some "frozen" dried apricots.

To escape the semi-blizzard, we went a couple doors down to Seigetsudo for some coffee, banana dorayaki and chocolate manju.

I don't usually care for banana flavored sweets (most times the flavor is fake), but this was delicious.

The chocolate manju had a white bean filling...and was dipped in a semi-sweet chocolate.

From the cafe, we watched the steady snow fall being interrupted by sudden whips of wind.

In the middle of the onsen area is a huge yubatake (hot spring field) where you can see hot spring water being cooled as it makes it way down several tiers within the "field" (apparently 4000 liters per minute!)

By running the water down several tiers, they can cool the waters without diluting it.

Inside of Netsu no yu, there is also a yumomi (you-moh-mee) show (admission 600 yen for adults, 300 yen for children) where you can see them manually cool down the hot spring water while singing traditional folk songs.

I shot two videos while we viewed the show here, and here.

Dinner was buffet style.

What we noticed about this onsen area was that it was really popular with 20-somethings.

I also bought these senbei and boro (wafer orbs) from Nakayoshidohonpo, unfortunately the one on the left was made in Okayama prefecture!

boo! note to self: read the label better...

The boro (wafer orbs) are bigger than the type I grew up with.

But I love the crunch to them.

It was a long day and despite the freezing temps, we got to see a lot and eat a lot.

118-1 Kusatsu
Agatsuma, Gunma
Phone: 0279.88.0811

82 Kusatsu
Agatsuma, Gunma
Phone: 0279.88.2063

25 Kusatsu
Agatsuma, Gunma
Phone: 0279.88.2166

Netsu no yu (Yumomi show)
414 Kusatsu
Agatsuma, Gunma
Phone: 0279.33.3613

118-1 Kusatsu
Agatsuma, Gunma
Phone: 0279.82.1237

126 Kusatsu
Agatsuma, Gunma
Phone: 0279.88.2611


KirkK said...

Man, that's cold Kat! Brrrr.....

K and S said...

very cold Kirk :)

Take care!

Rowena said...

getting too old to put up with really cold weather, so glad I went backwards and read this last...- 6°C! GAH!

jalna said...

Ho, looks cold!!

K and S said...

I should've been more prepared Rowena...

was fahreezing Jalna!

Take care you two.