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... also found. I love that we were walking the same path that may have been traveled by samurai, pilgrims, officials and spies throughout Japan’s tumultuous past centuries. “This is a well-travelled highway,” Mike remarked as a large group of Japanese hikers passed us. There were definitely more hikers present than I expected on a weekday. However, everyone was very friendly and encouraging, especially when they saw the sleeping child on my back. ...
... change into our yukata (light weight summer kimono) and contemplate the public baths. After reading the instructions for the bath, including no use of the baths following the consumption of alcohol, no swimming in the baths and no washing your underwear I rule out the public nakedness. That evening, adorned in our yukata and old man slippers, we head to a private dining room for traditional Japanese cuisine known as kaiseki, which refers to ...
... so you were expected to do all of your washing in the onsen. After a long day on your feet it was very nice to relax and cook yourself in the hot water... Our room also had a traditional $500 toilet seat, this one heated and offering you even more services once you finished your business! Tomorrow we have a traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan which again is included in our stay. From there it is off to Kyoto which is apparently much more traditional than modern ...
... guests seem to be here to enjoy the onsen facilities, you only have to site in the foyer - 90% are roaming around in yukatas (cottons dressing gown). The surrounding gardens are beautiful with 2 waterfalls and a small shrine. Cam and Omi had a soak in the hot tub and Celie is amused because when you open the toilet door the toilet lid automatically puts itself up and makes a sound like 'hi'. We area about to go to dinner, not sure what to expect but we're very excited. Until ...
... in the evening.
Thursday morning, sure enough, was sunny. Hooray! And the bus was running. Double hooray! But now we only had one day to climb the mountain, meaning we had to catch the first bus up at 8:50, hike 17km and 1600 vertical metres between 10am and 5:30pm, and take the last bus back down at 5:50. On the upside, we were travelling light with just daypacks, and we were all feeling good. The first kilometre or so was very ...