Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Japan Day 9 - Part Two

So it was time to say goodbye to Lake Haruna,
Back on the bus and back past some lovely scenery.

Monkeys, I swear those blobs are monkeys, maybe :P No wait we really did see wild monkeys, so that was fun :)

Going through a small town and seeing a man working on his bonsai garden is what makes Japan for me!

I also like the abundance of houses with outdoor gardens, just shows you don't need space to have a garden!

We headed back to Takasaki to hop on a train bound for Minakami and from there a bus to Takaragawa onsen. I thought it would be nice to show Ben the lovely mountain areas of Gunma and to let him experience the wonder that is an outdoor onsen :)

Anyway before all this we did wonder around the Capital of Gunma, that is Takasaki, sorry Taksaki you're a tad boring so we didn't stay long :P

The station does have a nice mural and a yummy bakery, so we stocked up on treats

Grabbed some lunch and hopped on the train bound for the onsen

When we got to Minakami we had to find another bus to get to the onsen, the travel gods continued to smile upon us and we managed to hop on the right bus with no trouble, the bus driver let us out at the right stop and low and behold a courtesy car was waiting to take us to the onsen! The driver held up a sign "long stay or short" and we said long, as we wanted to sleep there for the night! Ahh it was all looking awesome!

We got to the counter of the onsen and the guy is a little worried, apparently the actual baths close in an hour. I think things got a little loss in translation and I don't think he understood we wanted to sleep there for the night, but rather that we were only day trippers. Ben and I decided for the moment just to focus on finding the baths and enjoy our time!  

This is me being lost and not knowing which was to go.  I know there is a sign directly above my head but there were lots of signs :P

This onsen was so strange, filled with corridors to get lost down and junk/collectibles everywhere and just when you think it couldn't get anymore... caged bears

we eventually found the baths, 2 mixed outdoor baths and one ladies only, sorry Ben but I was taken the ladies only option :P

Ben and I both took sneaky photos of our onsens!

It was actually so beautiful and I had a really lovely outdoor bath joined by a couple of naked old women, overlooking the running river below and surrounding by beautiful forest

The grounds were also beautiful

Though a little odd

It was getting late by this point close to 5pm and the guy at the front counter told us to be back at the counter by 5 for the last courtesy car which would get us back in time for the last bus

Ben suggested we go to the counter and try to explain again that we would like to stay the night. I on the other hand was totally freaking out about the place  I'm not exactly sure what it was, maybe the caged bears or all the belongings every where, even though if you know me, you know I love op shops and stuff and junk! I really couldn't articulate what I was feeling to Ben, the place just left me feeling so uneasy and spooked and I really didn't want to stay.  Ben understood my erratic ways and we decided to head back to minakami and try and find accommodation there for the night.....

It was a long day but it's nearly over!
Stay tuned for the conclusion :)


  1. Super pretty photos :)
    That last statue is a little odd hahaha
    I don't know if I'd be brave enough for the baths, I'm too wussy hehe but these ones are really pretty :)

    -Heather (silly Lj having issues!)

  2. I wasn't brave enough for the mixed baths! At least I know ladies are respectful :P Ben had a yakuza, mob member in his section, with the traditional full body tattoo, that would have been cool to see!

    It was a pretty place, but a creepy one!


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