Nov 21, 2009

Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Landmannalaugar located southeast of Iceland is known for a highland trekking base rather than hot springs. I made a short slideshow from my travel photo album of last August. It's two minutes long without any sound. Of course some pictures of hot springs are included.

Nov 17, 2009

Kaniyu, Okukinu Onsenkyo, Tochigi Pref.

Daiichi Rotenburo, or the first open-air bath exclusively for ladies at Kaniyu. (photo: Nov. 2009)

I went hiking last Sunday to Okukinu Onsenkyo (奥鬼怒温泉郷) in Tochigi Prefecture. There are four onsens at Okukinu Onsenkyo; NIkkosawa, Teshirozawa, Hacchonoyu and Kaniyu. All of them but Teshirozawa accept day visit soaking and I visited all three. Kaniyu (加仁湯) is the biggest among them.

There are one rotenburo for ladies, many mixed gender rotenburos, gender separated indoor baths, and some private baths for overnight staying guests. They have five fountainheads.

Nov 12, 2009

Hotto Yuda, Kawashiri Onsen, Iwate Pref.

Green light shows you have at least 30 minutes for next train. (photo: Sep. 2005)

"Hotto Yuda" (ほっとゆだ) of Kawashiri Onsen (川尻温泉), Iwate Prefecture, Tohoku Region is one of the most unique onsens in Japan. There are working traffic lights inside of both bathrooms for men and women. Do you know public baths equipped with traffic lights in your countries? If you know the one, please leave a comment.

These traffic lights are not for car drivers, but for train passengers. Well, the Hotto Yuda is annexed to the train station of same name, "Hotto Yuda" of Kitakami Line. It's located in a rural area, and the train service is sporadic. If you miss a planned train, you might have to wait for a next train for hours, so these alarming lights are installed.

The onsen and the station share same building.

The lights are off most of the time, and the green lights come up when the next train comes in 30 to 45 minutes, then change to yellow (train comes in 15 to 30 minutes), and finally the red lights (15 minutes or less) turn on. You'll never miss the train, won't you?

Nov 5, 2009

International Onsen Conference

Anybody coming to the International Onsen Conference, officially "the 2009 General Assembly and International Thermalism/Scientific Congress of The World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC) " at Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan next week?

I'll be at the venue on Monday, Nov. 9 and probably on the following day, too. Look for me and let me welcome you to Japan.

Reference: Third Circular of the event (pdf file)