Monday, July 24, 2017

Destination - Yugawara!

This time we set our sights closer to home. Yugawara is a great little hot spring resort town situated between the much more popular resorts of Hakone and Atami. Yugawara is only a few short hours away from our home by train making the transportation cost of this trip much cheaper than most of our trips. So, off we went to discover Yugawara!

Just outside the train station I was encouraged by this trail marker. Obviously there is a lot to see and do here.

Per the sign Emi pours water into a ceramic jug to create a unique sound.

A small lily pond.

A river runs through the length of the town.

Typical shrine stuff.

On our second day we decided to follow the river and see what we would see.

It didn't take long for most of civilization to fade away.

Hydrangea were still blooming.

The red mark on this old structure is the Onsen (hot spring) mark.

The river keeps trickling along and so do we.

According to our walking map this is the beginning of a nature walk. Two porta-potties are conveniently available for the fools who decide to take the walk. And, we were two such fools.

The walk hike was all up hill. The humidity was horrible. The trail was rugged. It was hell!

In the middle of the trail was a shrine.

There are no roads to this shrine, only the hiking trail.


We took advantage of the fresh running water available at this shrine to drink up and refill our water bottles.

The only reason I'm smiling is because Emi told me to smile.

As we continued to hike the trail we eventually arrived at this water fall.

I was drenched in sweat. My legs were tired. But, somehow the sight of this water fall put a smile on my face and some spring in my step.

After two hours of stumbling along the all-up-hill hell trail we finally reached the end of the so called nature walk.

Then we discovered that we were in the middle of nowhere. We followed the road in the down hill direction in hopes of finding a bus stop.

Hallelujah! After a half hour of walking we found a bus stop.

Only 3 stops a day!!! We were in luck, we only had to wait 10 minutes for the 12:02 stop.

The bus stop was located on a big hairpin curve that appeared to be popular with sports car and motor cycle drivers.

Thank God! The bus has arrived.

It was a 13 kilometer trip from the top of the mountain to the Yugawara train station. And, of course I celebrated our survival of the ordeal with an ice cold beer. It was sooooo delicious.

We also had a late lunch - ramen!

On the way back to our hotel we stopped at this shrine to give thanks for our safe return to civilization.

Schools out! Kids were pouring out of the local elementary school as we passed by.

In the same way that we had started our day we followed the river. Only this time we followed it to our hotel where we enjoyed the afternoon soaking in a fantastic hot spring bath.

Thanks for stopping by!

A couple of extras.

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