Aichi is a quiet hidden gem of a prefecture in the Chubu region of Japan's main island, Honshu. It's located in between two major cities - Nagoya and Hamamatsu. From Toyohashi Station you can reach Yuya in a little over an hour, and from Nagoya about the same. Most travellers and business people either commute to or live in Nagoya, and if you are a partygoer Nagoya seems to be where the action is all at. I too have enjoyed Nagoya on several occasions. A city most often famed for its castles and shrines, and most of all delicious chicken.
For the onsen lover, Gifu, next door to Nagoya, seems to be the place where the locals from Aichi flock to, and for a good reason; some of Japan's Top 100 onsen are there. - Gifu Grand Hotel. What about Aichi though. What's there to see and do, and what about this place Yuya Onsen?
|General Vicinity of Yuya Onsen|
Aichi's beauty lies in its rustic industrial landscape. Lifeless sawmills with empty parking lots; nobody in sight. Stern leafy deciduous evergreens standing still and undisturbed against a backdrop of oaks and pines. Two car trains meandering round valleys and river gorges; low distant hum from a diesel engine driven train. A Ghibli scene here and there like this train station at Yuya Onsen.
I barely made it on time for the day-use bath, but it was worth the long train ride up. Work finished at 2:30, at the university, and so had just enough time to catch a bus to the station. Once there in the bath the song of summer came rushing in. Whirring Cicadas! What a cacophony of sounds.
Spiders spinning and weaving their webs drew and intricate design for me while I was sitting in the open air bath.
In Aichi, Even the beetles board the trains, like there's no shame in being a beetle in a car full of humans.
Yuya is a sleepy little onsen town where retirees go to get away from the assault of noise fed by the cities. Most, if not all, of the hot spring water is fresh and hot from a bubbling thermal brook somewhere in the deep valley. I can still remember how lush and green everything is here.
Just after the dusk, and just as the cicadas are finally settling in for the evening, i take one last look at the town and its houses. There is nothing to do here but soak your bones....Just the way I like it. No mobile phone zombies around.
Who needs daycare when momma can do it for free. I thought this epidemic was a Kanto problem but looks like I was wrong. Mommy and daddy are too busy working in the big cities, and not enough time and day-care centers to look after the kids. The grandparent's work is never done.
N.B. There are no express trains to Yuya, so be prepared to be lulled to sleep on the train ride there. Bring snacks and beers and a Ghibli book to read and be prepared to be "spirited away." If you do plan to stay here, I do recommend eating out on the town. The boutique eateries are very charming and offer a lot of really rare fare that you cannot find in Nagoya. Think eel but with a different spin. Cheers.