Monday, December 07, 2009

11/26/09: Day 7 in Japan, Part I - On to Yufuin

After all too short stay in Kagoshima, my next destination was Yufuin in Oita prefecture. With another few hours on the road, hearty breakfast was in order...

...hearty and healthy, mind you...

...and not to mention traditional.

After few hours, I reached Nurukawa Onsen, a rustic inn located about 20 minute walk from the train station.

My room was the traditional tatami room.

Before going for a walk, I had to take advantage of their onsen. Aside from the communal men/women baths, they offered several private 'family bath' units available on first-come first-serve basis. I grabbed an open-air "roten buro" overlooking the neighboring mountain.

Just two minutes from the inn was picturesque Lake Kinrin, showing off the reflection of the foliage.

For dinner, I was recommended "Dot to Dot" restaurant close to the train station. Generally, the place seems bit trendy, but I was sworn by their quality by a friendly shopkeeper.

Their menu feature locally grown vegetables... well as fresh meat from a local meat store. Many of the dishes are prepared organically, and it indeed was a feast for my stomach as well as my eyes.

Because the restaurant had a very limited alcohol selections, I opened up a bottle of Ama No To "Umashine" upon my return. Polished to 80% and unfiltered, the saké had a light golden hue, surprisingly smooth texture, and long umami-laden flavor.

After some time to digest, I had to take an evening bath. The attendant told me that I can try the bath unit that feature both indoor and outdoor bath.

As the temperature was bit nippy out, the contrast with the hot spring was just right.

There isn't much better way to relax by listening to the trickling water...

...while staring into the lit up Japanese maple tree in all its autumn glory.

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