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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

湯荘 白樺

ゆそう しらかば [yuso-shirakaba onsen]

One of the oldest onsen we've ever stayed at was here at this place. Getting here was a bit difficult too since the road conditions were horrible for driving. Luckily my buddy a native of Hokkaido, knew more about how to handle a car on icy roads better than I did.   I'm from SoCal.

These out of the way hot springs are not so popular because often times they are smaller and older, but like I've harped on before, it's all about the water. Most people who visit these places do so more for the quality of the water than the hotel itself. And I have learned that over the years as the best way to view and enjoy a hot spring, so don't expect too much in terms of luxury and so on, the place is very bare bones.

Another key feature is the white milky color of the water. On a cold wintery starry night these are by far my favorite hot spring to dip in. If you can tolerate the sulfur smell and the high temps then you should love this type of water, especially at night with a small halogen light source just barely providing enough light to cascade over the steamy water, starry night sky, cold sake, just perfect.
Prices were reasonable as well as the food. Rooms were small and old, but clean and warm.
Disclaimer: Please do not use my photos without my permission or credit.


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