Last post from my Japan trip in spring. I’m going again early December for work, back, then go again middle of Dec with family, and bringing Junya for the first time! ♡
So it was my last few days in Japan, and Genie danna has granted me one last wish. I didn’t know where to go so i asked him to just bring me anywhere!! He knows i love onsen, so we (read: he) drove 3 hours to Gunma prefecture to head to one of the Top 3 Hot Spring in Japan: Kusatsu.
It was nearing middle of April, and that was the hottest day i’ve experienced in that trip!
We rented a car for road trip again!!
Road trip snacks!!!
What did i say about my luck with sakura?? In Tokyo you couldn’t see it anywhere anymore. The petals are gone and new leaves sprouted out. It was almost a scene of early summer.
But on our way up to Gunma, sakura welcomed and beckoned us the entire route. It was like they didn’t want to leave me. #hamaforevermi
Snapped these picture from our car window!
And we saw one giant sakura tree, i couldn’t resist asking the danna for a little detour and admired the beautiful yet short-lived sakura one last time.
See you again, next year. (Which is like in 4 months time. How time flies!! No, really, how time really flies!)
We have arrived Kusatsu!!!
Japan just never fails to amaze me. When i think i’ve seen everything, there are always more new things that make me sigh in admiration. The scenery pictures are taken with HDR effect so it’s a little exaggerated, but yea the first thought was that i have really just walked into Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
It was otherworldly.
The unusual green pool here is called Yubatake, located right at the center of the small town.
The onsen water gushes out from the ground and flows like a waterfall.
Not only is Kusatsu ranked the top onsen because of its stunning scenery, it is also said to be the best onsen in terms of therapeutic effect. of Of all Japanese hot springs, the waters of Kusatsu are said to be one of the most powerful to cure every ailment except lovesickness. We were really excited to try it out and expect to come out from the onsen reborn as superhumans lolol.
Did you know?
Some of the 7-11 combini in Japan are not allowed to have their signature green/orange colors but a boring monotone brown to preserve the traditional feel of a Japanese village. Kusatsu is one of those towns. If you have been to Kyoto before, you may have already noticed! Of course it’s not just 7-11, but every single shop like Starbucks and stuff.
Also, Spirited Away is also said to be inspired by the bathhouses in Kusatsu. Apparently the crew also came here to record real sounds of onsen to be used in the animation. Just look at this building! Familiar? 😀
The weather wasn’t in our favor though. It started drizzling the moment we arrived, and the locals told us that it was the coldest day of the month. AND THEN IT STARTED SNOWING WTF.
I came totally unprepared, obviously dressed for the hottest day in Tokyo.
The danna sacrificed himself and let me wear this sweater (more to protect his unborn son in my belly) YET i was trembling non stop!
Our first mission was to find the nearest bath house and take a goooood looooooong dip.
There was a free public bath right in front of us so we went in without hesitation. Apparently hot springs are so abundant here they are so generous they let people use the onsen for free!
It looked like this:
Left for gentlemen and right for ladies.
It was old and small, and there wasn’t towel provided (we brought our own), but hey it’s free so nobody is complaining!!
Anyway, for those of you who are concerned about onsen during pregnancy, yes in Japan pregnant ladies were not encouraged to go to an onsen during the first and last trimester. But soooooo coincidentally, starting 24th March 2014, the Ministry of Environment in Japan has revised its guideline in 32 years, and removed “pregnancy” from the Onsen caution list. (Other people who are not advised to use the onsen are people with severe heart problems, etc).
Basically it says that pregnant women can now also enjoy the benefits of the onsen!! It’s just that when you are pregnant your body gets tired easily, especially if you have low blood pressure like me, you may get dizzy easily, so it’s really best not to spend too long in the hot spring. (i did a 5 minutes soak, get up, rest, then 5 minutes again, for about half an hour.)
After the first dip i felt soooooooo much better!
After that we went inside a small udon shop to warm the belly up!
And very yummy yakitori!!
Hi from me and danna.
A bit too gloomy and serious?
Love the negi chopstick rest!!!! XD
Our mission was too TRY ALL THE ONSEN!!!!! XD
The danna found one of the famous one (paid bathhouse), i think it is called Sai No Kawara, which is a loooooong cold and hard walk away.
The danna was frozen stiff lolololol. (I turned him into Kaonashi to match that Spirited Away theme).
And the walk was so worth it.
This is the only picture i have of it because obviously you are not allowed to take photos inside.
But i stole a picture from the internet for your reference!
It is super mega huge you can swim in it XD
After that we strolled along the traditional streets…
Doesn’t this look like the place Chihiro’s parents had a feast and turn into pigs?
And lastly came back to rest at the main bathhouse.
The interior of rest area.
It was just the two of us!
Milk after onsen. ♡
Kusatsu at night time.
Haha abit creepy hor.
There was also a mysterious tunnel. Maybe it’s just me i was suddenly relating everything to Spirited Away!
And that’s all!!!
Cleared all my debts on spring trip hehehe.