Saturday, May 30, 2015

Matsushiro Onsen & Kami Yamada Onsen

The destination was Nagano prefecture. The purpose was rest and relaxation. Nothing says R&R like a stroll around a Buddhist temple so when we arrived at Matsushiro we went for a walk around one of the local temples.

The entrance.

This temple is very well maintained. This structure had all the chinese zodiac symles carved into stone.

I was impressed with the banister being carved like bamboo.

An elderly local resident bid us a cheerful good morning.

The gate to the main temple area.

And, the main temple.

There is an air of peaceful serenity as we walked around the temple grounds.

As we walk around the stress associated with everyday life just melts away...
 ...leaving the body and soul in perfect harmony.

One thing about temples is that they always have a bell. A big bell.

I was amazed at the way the bell structure rested on the polished foundation stones.

On the way back to town we stopped by this inviting udon noodle shop for some lunch.

Clean and cozy and the food was delicious.

At last, we arrived at the onsen (hot spring). After I snapped this picture I was informed by the owner that photography was prohibited.

Ok, I'm guilty! I waited 'til all the occupants went to the outdoor bath and I covertly took this picture of the indoor bath. There is a high content of iron in the water and it turns everthing red.

Even the runoff drain ditch is red.

 After a long leisurely soak at the hot spring we headed to Kami Yamada Onsen where we would spend the night.

To get to Kami Yamada Onsen one needs to cross the Chikuma-gawa river.

Emi waits in front of the inn where we'll be spending the night.

It's an old facility but well maintained.

After we checked in we went for a walk around town. Near the inn was a Shinto shrine.

Another inn nearby ours.

On a side street we found a shop that sold cooked river fish.

I took a peek into the kitchen where the fish is cooked.

Of course we bought some to take home with us.

Some of the older inns.

There seems to be more side streets than there are main streets and all of them are fun to explore.

The next morning before breakfast we went for a walk along the Chikuma-gawa river.

Time to check out and start working are way home.

Being that we were in no rush to go straight home we stopped at Isawa onsen in Yamanashi prefecture for another day of soaking at the hot springs. That night we stayed in a more modern hotel that had a view of Mt. Fuji from our room window. Just look through all the power lines at the mountain range; Mt. Fuji is just poking out in the center.

After checking out we passed by Lake Shoji and I snapped a couple pictures of Mt. Fuji under heavy cloud cover.

Last shot of the day before we grind out the kilometers on our way home.
All in all it was a fantastic trip!

Thanks for stopping by!

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