bike tour kurokawa to yufuin

Bike Tour Kurokawa to Yufuin: Co-ed hot springs

Bike Tour Kurokawa to Yufuin: The Route: The final push on the Yamanami Hwy and up to altitude of 1400 meters was definitely testing my limits as a novice cyclist. the good thing was that there isn’t so much up and down among these mountains. The way down was a bit cold and I had to put on more clothes to be ready for the long way down. The downhill starts from Makinoto pass.

Highlights: -A night at the michi no eki(rest stop) -Co ed hot springs

I got into Yufuin in the evening and went directly to a hot spring where I had the whole culture shock of seeing a woman in the same hot springs. This wasn’t common but I learned that it does exist in some places. But I would later find out all employees at onsens are all women and they sporadically barge in the onsen while you are sitting there naked and they do maintenance around the onsen. After I spent a night at the Michi No Eki(rest stop) in Yufuin. Next day I cycled around Yufuin, which is pretty town with many tourists shops, onsens, parks, etc. It’s very quiet and peaceful, although there are ton of tourists visiting this place. I stopped by another onsen later in the day and it was partly outdoors so you can see the sky as you are sitting in the hot water boiling away.

bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
This is on the way down from the Yamanami Highway. A very long downhill and was so cold I had to put my hoodie on to stay warm.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Stopped to feed the horses at a farm. You can buy a small bag of hay for 100 yen at integrity sale system and you get to feed the horses. It started with one but the other ten popped up out of nowhere.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Yufuin Station. Arguably the most famous onsen in Japan. There are many onsens here and the town is spacious, with many shops and restaurants around that caters to the tourists. It was on a larger scale and provided a lot more than just onsens like Kurokawa.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Unbelievably beautiful lake located in Yufuin. The fall leaves just made it that much better. Notice the steam coming out of the town from the heat created by the hot springs.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
In the mornings, the mountains in this region looked like they had been sitting in the hot springs throughout the night and was cooling off.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
I would smoke this guy with ease.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Streets of Yufuin, very peaceful and nice, but full of tourists.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Some streets looked like busy alley ways in Seoul.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Have I mentioned that cats rule this country? Not even a blink of an eye while thousands of travelers walked in and out of this cat’s shop.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
My first stop at the local onsen. This one is popular with the locals and you just insert 100 yen into a tube before going in. It is just a room with two common jacuzzi pools. The one on the end is outside. Many locals came and bathed here. As I was relaxing and trying to acclimate myself with sitting naked with other men, a lady in her forties walked in casually and started undressing! This lady was also casually having a conversation with another naked guy. I didn’t realize this onsen was co-ed. I tried to stay cool and calm throughout this madness. As I was washing myself off on a wooden stool in the corner, I noticed that all the guys started leaving and all of a sudden, I was in the onsen alone with the other lady! There was that awkward moment of silence and I wanted to get out of there like I was in the prison shower room with Damon from Friday after Next. As I was nearly dressed, the woman I believe said “Kombawa.” I was so shocked that she spoke to me, while naked, I’m not sure what the hell she said. So, I don’t even know if I blurted anything out but I kind of gave a nod not looking directly at her and just stormed out of the onsen. I may have been tempted to look if this lady was somewhat younger, but honestly it was just being in the same hot springs with another naked woman was a big time culture shock, and this was only the beginning.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
Spring water was everywhere throughout this region. I absolutely loved it and drank like a thirsty camel.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
My late night dinner prepared at the michi no eki(rest stop). The time, money, and effort put into this dish, not sure if it was all worth it but at times, I had no choice. This dish was not so great as it was too bland. Sauce is key for any screw ups in cooking. Salt and hot sauce is crucial.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
A handicap restroom in Japan. I think this time the photo fully justifies what is being presented. And no, those aren’t for gymnastics homie. Many days, I’ve snuck into these and took my showers. I nearly camped in one of these. They are so immaculately clean, a Army drill sergeant will give you a GO.
bike tour kurokawa to yufuin
View of Yufuin from the hills. Goodbye Yufuin.
This is a guest blog post by Dae Choi
Saturday November 9, 2013

2013/11/09-10: Kurokawa to Yufuin: Co-ed hot springs

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