The weather was so nice on Monday that the Institute of Low Temperature Science decided to have classes outside for a change.

Yes thank you, I’ve had a lovely blogcation during which I visited an onsen, caught a little cold and went for a walk in the snow. We had a pretty decent bit of snowfall on Monday so I felt obliged to go for a stroll to the university with my camera where I took a lot of actually not very good photos. However I’m still having so much fun with Lightroom presets, so I’m going to foist a handful of pictures on you anyway. I’ve put them at the bottom of this post. I do quite enjoy the snow, even if Kazuko does give me dirty looks whenever I even think about making a snowball.

Our trip to stay at an onsen hotel in Jozankei was the second stage of this year’s two-part wedding anniversary celebrations and as it was a lovely day, we left home early and had a little wander around Jozankei before checking in to the hotel. Kazuko is a big cat fan so the first thing we had to do was track down some of the many stray cats that hang around Jozankei and document their existence.

Would anyone like to give Kaz a job as a cat photographer?

Once Kazuko managed to drag herself away from the cats with a promise of more cats later, we followed a path along the river, past a little shrine to green monsters.

Not just sportsmen use Movember as an excuse to grow bad facial hair.

The river was quite busy thanks to lots of melting snow.

We crossed a bridge. Kazuko tried to scare me by jumping up and down on it.

Nice place for a birdhouse.

We found another bridge. Kazuko didn't jump up and down on this one.

Probably because she was worried about tetanus. And the ends were quite steep, too.

We found some kappa. I was still sulking that Kazuko hadn't stayed on the last bridge long enough.

Kazuko found another cat.

This path went to the top of a hill but I was too scared of bears to go up it. And it was nearly check-in time at the hotel.

After all that walking, we stopped to warm up our feet in a hot water pond.

And this man gave his dog a nice hot water shower.

We finally got to the hotel and settled in to our impressively large room.

Kazuko got bored of me quite quickly and got on the phone to her sister for a proper conversation.

We didn’t linger long in our room and headed straight to the bath. Because we checked in early, it was nice and empty in the bath room so I pretty much had the hot water to myself. This hotel’s onsen was quite simple; just two indoor baths and one outside one, all of them on the 12th floor. The water is quite warm in the baths and I can never last as long as the Japanese before I have to get out and find somewhere to cool down again. My vision usually blacks out between the bath and where ever it is I’m heading. I like the outdoor baths because it’s colder out there and I can just sit on the edge of the bath before my temperature drops enough for me to get back into the water and try to boil myself alive again. After the quick dip, I was able to slip back into my hotel robes and we relaxed in our room until dinner time.

The beard gives me an air of dignity, doesn't it?

The baths are good but the dinner is the highlight. We had a private room and were seated to find this lot already there.

That looks like it must be more than we could possibly eat doesn't it? But that didn't stop them from bringing out more during the meal.




Little bowls with mystery contents. One of them was jellyfish. I don't know which one but it was tasty.

Some sort of meaty thing.

The one on the left looked a bit like it might have been brain but it wasn't. I think it was cheesy tofu.

Lots of eating to be done here.

What do you think? Art or a young child's scratchings?

We rounded the evening off with an exclusive private bath and slept very soundly indeed but were able to wake up in time to fit in breakfast and a last bath before heading back to town and having to cook for ourselves and make our own beds for a change. No wonder I caught a cold by the end of the week.

And here are those snowy photos I mentioned earlier in the post:


8 Comment on “Onsen, cold, snow

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