Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tohoku Black Water Onsen

Snow storm, train ride, winter walk, dear friend and a black water onsen - all add up to  Adventure Tohoku style.

A friend and I have been trying to get together for this trip for over a month and TODAY was the day.  It was a blast. I love riding the trains, I love onsens and I truly LOVE onsen conversations with friends.

We boarded at 10 something or other and rode three stops to Otomo (O TOE moe). Along the way we realized the "blue blob," which was every where, was a blue tree.  Aomori means "blue forest" it. You want the ticket for  "440 yen."
We arrived to realize we didn't have a map and weren't 100% sure of the name of the onsen either....but all was well. The train station attendant took us out and gave us about 5 minutes of instructions. We understood left and 5 minutes...we went left and asked the next person...we continued the pattern until we arrived at Touhoku Onsen.
Via Google Images

Y270 for an adult....
Via Google Images
After the 5 - 10 min walk (we did get turned around once and were going slower as it was icy and snowy) the onsen felt HEAVENLY.  The black water is said to be good for your skin and your can read more  here. Akikosan said  obasans go daily and that's why they look so young. I told her I'll go weekly and look 15 when I leave Japan.  ::wink:: 
Via Google Images
 There are private baths - or a private family bath. I believe they are Y800-1200  - prices here. 
Via Google Images

Look carefully at this sign...I'm thinking of going back for an over-nighter! 
Via Google Images
If you happen to be blessed to live in Northern Japan I recommend this spot...clean, unique, charming to take the train and walk.....and here's a map.  Train station is the red near the top and in the spring I may drive.  I can email a full size map.

We stopped at a little cafe  enroute to the train station for lunch - Yummy Curry.  This was  the perfect adventure  as I continue to process  we are really and truly  going to have to leave Japan in 4 1/2 months. How did that happen? It was SIX months just last week.

We arrived back on base around 2:45. I had just enough time to stop by the BX and commissary before Michael was ready to come home for the day.

If you WANT to try an onsen but don't want to run into anyone - this one was quiet when we went, we were the only Americans in the town....and I'm willing to go with you to make sure you don't commit any social mistakes....or you can go try the private room and I'll ride the train with you and sit in the public one.

Akikosan came over this evening and we told her we're moving to California. She KNEW we were moving...but seemed surprised we were moving.  She may well come visit us in California. Her Dad thinks the photos we brought her of the kids in front of the Redwoods was a fake tree. We told her to visit us and we'd take her to the Trees.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

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