Dear beloved readers,
A happy new year! Thank you very much for reading my bolg for the past year even though my updates had been fairly infrequent. But, it has also been great writing things. Hope I can enjoy keep writing the world I see this year too. Thinking those things, I have been eating Persimmons and mandarins at home.
Believed or not over 4000 access has been made since the establishment of the blog. Persistence pays off. I will keep going, providing maybe-useful information for you.
Get back to the journey
Leaving Hiroshima in the morning, I caught a train towards west. To get to the half point, Yamaguchi prefecture, the train stopped some 47 stops. I like going slow as always.
Oita has it all for me, well, as being a not so hard-core chilling cyclist.
Superb onsen (hot springs)
As well as Beppu, one of the most popular hot spring districts in the country, Oita has got a great range of hot springs, known as onsen in Japanese, there are number of hot springs and they are all pumped up from underground. Besides, different hot springs has different textures such as smooth ones as silk or refreshing ones as lemon, lime and bitters, and therefore, depends what you after, you could choose what you want every day. But one thing in common in this area is the fact that the hot water in the springs is generally GOT DAMN HOT (especially the one called Takegawara Onsen), referred from Joe, my friend in Oita.
|Beppu, one of the most well know onsen districts in Japan. Beppu is neighbour town of Oita 2 stops by train.|
In Japan, hot springs are generally divided into 2 parts; one is for males and one for females as you need to be completely necked to be in one of them. (Oh well, probably to avoid something from happening…..) However, there are ones called ’Konyoku-buro’, which is a hot spring with only one part. Yes, it is, literary, a nudist hot spring. Unfortunately, I did not have chance to go to one of them but in this particular occasion. Apparently, here in Oita is one of the areas you could find one for real authentic experience in country Japan. The admission prices for hot springs are generally very friendly to your wallet from free (!) to 390 yen (4 AUD) (of course there are very expensive ones too.) I found a video which gives you a visual explanation of hot springs in Oita (and Beppu).
I would describe hot springs in oita to be not only refreshing and relaxing, but also rejuvenating! It's a must do experience in Japan.
Still not convinced? Check it out with your own body.
Thanks to the hot springs around the girls here are (apparently) famous for its well maintained beautiful long legs. These legs are making Oita’s biggest industry of leg bars.(half jork and half true). Note* The word, leg monster, is first coined by Joe.
|You would find this kind of stuff too|
To my surprise, there are great pubs around Oita especially in Miyakomachi area. Those pubs are making the area fairly entertaining and multicultural. This is partly due to the establishment of an international university nearby. One my most recommended pub in this area is P.E.I. The pub has a great range of cocktails, spirits and beer (and they do a great turkey on Christmas eves) and most importantly, very friendly bartenders and people enjoying their time. If you come for the second time, you definitely see one of your friends there. Consequently speaking, where drinking places there are wicked bottle shops are. There are heaps of great bottle shops too. Further explanation not needed.
And most importantly (well, believe or not and at least for me), Oita and surroundings are one of the most fantastic destinations in the country for cyclists from very beginners to full on advanced riders give you a great beautiful and scenic rides. Mountains, rivers, coasts, quiet roads. Nice challenging and quiet hills beautiful sceneries. As Joe runs a cycle tour company, Japan Bike and Hike, he knows the area very well. He kindly took on the wheel me around the area of Oita. Its just beautiful and challenging area to ride around. I’ve attached some of photos below but I would say I saw 100+ times more beautiful places that the photos below.
|A lot of hilly rides|
|At the top of a mountain!|
|Easy, cruisy coastal ride|
|A pretty damn looking good view|