Noilly Prattle: letting it all hang out . . .

Monday, July 4, 2016

letting it all hang out . . .

Hakkei Inn left - Yubara Dam and pools on right
hanging out on a Sunday afternoon
The rainy season with its often hot and muggy weather is a perfect excuse for a getaway to our favorite hot spring mountain town in the northern part of the prefecture—Yubara Onsen. It’s a two and a half hour drive, ideal for an overnight trip by car. We like to stay at the Hakkei Inn that overlooks the well-known hot spring pools in the Asahi River that are considered a must visit, at least once in your lifetime, in Japan. Since it is so close, we have already visited it several times in our lifetime, and, inshallah, will be able to visit many more times.

the "view" from our room in the Hakkei Inn

ladies rooftop  pool
not supposed to be here . . .

you eat the whole fish, head tail and all
          We arrived at the inn mid-after-noon and checked into our room "with a view" in time for a first dip in the rooftop tubs of the hotel building before dinner. After relaxing in the pool for a half hour or so we donned yukata (lounging kimono provided by the inn) to go down to the restaurant for a typical Japanese multiple course dinner. We opted for a bit of a Western touch by ordering a 1-pound steak for the main course. It turned out to be excellent; thick, tender, juicy and perfectly cooked to medium rare. It went perfectly with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy region of France.
1-pound thick juicy steak--ummm good!

           There was a concert in the reception area by a local group that seemed to be well attended by most of the hotel guests. We sat and listened for a short time, but didn’t particularly care for the style of music (a kind of unfocused jazz) and decided to head for the river pools—a must when going to Yubara. There were quite a lot of people in the pools, even after dark. The river baths, free of charge and allowing mixed sexes (unusual in modern Japan), are open 24/7. One sleeps like a baby after all that relaxing mildly sulfurous hot water.

concert in the hotel lobby

in the river pool at night (Hakkei Inn in the background)

ghostly effect of steam on the river at night
Mt. Daisen (the the far background)
Hiruzen Highlands
     In the morning we hit the roof bath again before going down to breakfast. After checking out we headed a little north and west toward Hiruzen Highlands and Mount Daisen, an extinct volcano on the border between Okayama and Tottori Prefectures. The area is picturesque with its economy based in cattle raising for meat and dairy products.

feeding Takashi
feeding Angel

            After lunch at a theme park named Jerseyland (for the cows) we drove back home on back country roads. 

Jerseyland (Mt. Daisen in the far background)


Anonymous said...

Looks so relaxing! Beautiful pictures! You two really know how to enjoy life! - Michelle

Noilly Prattle said...

Looks like you guys aren't doing too badly either up at the lake!