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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, ...

Hot, Icy and Crisp

The third hotel I stayed was at the Hachimantai Heights.   Normally when you check-in to a place the receptionist hands you a pen and a form to fill-in, which basically asks for your name and address.   When I walked up to the front desk this time around, first thing they handed me was a hot fragrant  face towel.    I was impressed.  After wiping my face and hands I filled out the form and was escorted to my gorgeous room.

After settling down I sat down with a hot tea  by the window and took in the snowy views.

Let me digress a little.    Japanese girls hate it when their boyfriends wipe their faces with hot face towels. They think it's so oyaji(ish).   Another mind numbingly stupid hang up of young Japanese women.   Oyaji is a derogative term for old Japanese men.   Personally, I think it feels great when I wipe my face and hands with a hot face towel, especially after being outside all day in the icy cold winter air.   It's refreshing.   Another note, this was one of the best experiences I ever had at an onsen.  I sang and drank on the house all night.  I got completely hammered from all of the nihonshu and hospitality given to me.  It was amazing.   I met people who were from all over Ninohe and Hanamaki; we all sang together in the snack bar in the hotel.   I especially enjoyed my servers and the Jukujo housekeepers.  

After check-in I headed out to the open air bath and the first thing that caught my eye was this bonsai looking tree from the bath.   The ropes around it are used to support the branches in the winter so that they do not loose their form.  

 The single pot bath is always nice, too.   Especially in the early afternoon.  The single pot bath allows you to hang both of your legs, head, and arms over the edges while you submerse the rest of your body.  Yes. I can fit into one of these.
It's always nice and hot, even when there's ice on the ground and snow all around.    And then there's the steam to comfort you; warming you.  
The mineral content of this water was rich and heavy.  I could pick up the sulfur and the iron, and it was good.   Good(er) than good, it was the best.    The temps outside were around minus 15C, the water was around 42C.   Heaven.
The vast mountain range of Hachimantai never fails to impress, and to this day I don't know what it is.   Maybe there are ancient souls that roam freely and boundlessly in and through people, or through trees and through the water.   At some point these spiritual bodies intersect  and converge and splitting like atoms and creating something beautiful.    This is Hachimantai.


  1. Mr. I want know one thing. How much tooks there hotels? Could you send me daily price?

  2. How much tooks at Yen Currency. I heard It is expensive.



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