A longing hot spring town–Yufuin
Yufuin is a famous hot spring village in Yufu City, Oita Prefecture, Japan. Every year, many tourists from Japan and abroad come for sightseeing and vacation. If you want to have a try on Japanese hot spring, Yufuin is highly recommended. Besides that, walking into a grocery store on the roadside would be interesting, for you can sometimes find some exquisite and lovely souvenirs there. And a meal in the scenic restaurant, a walk in the town after the sun goes down is also a good idea. This time, my family and I set off from Fukuoka and took the “Yufuin no Mori Train” to Yufuin, where we spent a wonderful two-day trip.
“Yufuin no Mori Train” is a limited express train of the resort series and its popularity is as high as the attractions. The environment of the carriage is quiet and comfortable, and the seats are much higher than ordinary trains, which is more suitable for enjoying the natural views outside the window. In the meanwhile, intimate Japanese services such as photography with props in the carriage are provided. What’s more, passengers can enjoy the natural scenery while tasting the Oita Prefecture’s lime-flavored ice cream and the train-limited bento. How pleasant it is to take a Yufuin train!
After arriving at the JR Yufuin Station, on the way to the hot spring hotel, I was deeply attracted by the souvenir shops and small grocery stores on both sides of the street. I Stopped in front of a shop selling glass products. I found a super cute glass crafts (pictured above) that mimic a warm scene of animals gathering together. I didn’t hesitate to buy it so that I could see this beautiful message at home and at work.
We stayed at a ryokan (hot spring hotel) called “Musoen”, it’s about 10 minute-walk from JR Yufuin Station. This hotel is quite famous for its open-air hot springs, with a panoramic view of the Mount Yufu. In addition, the most attractive thing is that the female-only hot spring “Kukai no Yu” is as big as 150 tatami mats*, which is more spacious than other hotels.
Taking pictures of hot springs were prohibited, so please check the hotel’s official website for more pictures.
* “Tatami mat” is used to measure room sizes in Japan, “1 tatami mat” is approximately 1.62 square meters.
In the afternoon, we went to the onsen, wearing the yukata the hotel had provided for us. There didn’t seem to be many guests there at that time, and fortunately we didn’t see anyone there when we got there. It was so refreshing to soak in the hot spring and look at the blue sky, white clouds and green mountains in the distance. I think it is very important for modern people to have time to get away from the busy life and have a refreshing experience with nature.
After the hot spring, my family and l went back to our rooms. My mother and l shared a Western-style room which we had reserved (it has both beds and tatami). For me, as a foreigner, it feels more comfortable to sleep in a bed than on tatami mats. But considering my mother’s strong desire to experience Japanese tatami mats, we chose a Japanese-Western style room. The picture above is the tatami mat in our room, which is very Japanese style.
As the saying goes, “Happy times always pass so fast “, the sun went down and the moon was faintly visible in the blink of an eye. After enjoying the excellent Japanese cuisine at the hotel, my mother and I went back to our room to watch TV and take a break to recharge our energy for tomorrow’s Kinrinko lake tour. The rest of us decided to explore the small town.
When I was about to go to bed, my aunt gave me a paper doll of Momotaro* when she came back from her walk. That night, I also dreamed that I was Momotaro…haha!
* A character from Japanese folktales, also known in English as “Peach Boy”.
Summary: This time I went to Yufuin in the summer. It is said that Yufuin is a place worth visiting all year round. Therefore, if I have time, I would like to visit it in other seasons to find a different view. The scenic and secluded Yufuin is now attracting more and more people who want to experience Japan’s hot springs, food and customs. If this sounds interesting to you, why not book now?
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