5/16 – Well, there’s nothing to describe the experience of soaking in a hot, spring-fed sulphur-rich bath. I felt like a boiled egg, and smelled like one too! The water was so hot that I had to mix some cold tap water into the bath before I could get in (no other ladies present at the time). Unfortunately, the tap water comes from the spring too, so there was no way to rinse off the sulphur smell. We were assured that the water was drinkable, and even brushed our teeth with it – one can get used to anything!
This guesthouse is very much like our last, with thin futons, bean pillows and fish for supper and breakfast. I’m told that the good posture of the Japanese is thanks to thin futons. With a nod to the Western guests, our breakfast included instant coffee, and also ham and eggs, eaten with chopsticks, of course!
This area is the home of the Shinto Hongu Taisha shrine. It is the first of the three major shrines we will visit this week. It boasts the largest torii (shrine entrance gate) in Japan. Here’s our first glimpse of the torii from atop the mountain. Can you spot it?:
The shopkeeper conveyed to us with no English that we were to tie a rope to the bag and lower the eggs into the hot spring to cook them. He even provided an origami basket to collect the shells, and a packet of salt. With some canned coffee, the best lunch we’ve had all week!
A fine hiking day.