August 3, 2009

Sakata to Sukayu Hot Spring, Aomori (August 3rd) 《Summer Trip Day 2》

Aomori Nebuta sample exibited at Hirosaki Sta. on the way to Aomori Sta.
That week was the Nebuta/Neputa Festival around this area.
(We had no chance to see the real one, though...)

We planned to get to Rebun island in Hokkaido on Day 5 of our trip, so we decided to enjoy some nice hot spring and some hike on the mountain in Aomori before reaching Hokkaido.
The hot spring was great. It has whitish water with strong acidity. You can feel the power of the volcanic action. The huge bath is pretty old, and male and female share the huge bath, so for female visitors it seems pretty hard to come in...because some of the STRAIGHT guys were staring at them! Disgusting! Most of those manner-less guys were middle-age or even older ones...Grow up! Anyway, it was a pretty nice place and some of the older people stayed there for a couple of weeks for their health. That kind of style to use hot spring is called "Touji" (湯治), which means "fix your body with the hot spring". We stayed one night, but the place made us feel like to stay longer.

《Day 2》
Sakata Sta. (5:48) - Hirosaki Sta. (11:54, lunch) - Aomori Sta. (12:36) - by the hotel bus - Sukayu Hot Spring.

The inside of our room, which is for the guests who want to stay there in the Touji style.
You can stay much cheaper than in the Inn style.

The view from the window of our room. Pretty old building, eh?

The entrance of the Sukayu Hot Spring.

Hosta (Giboushi) in the Botanical Garden of Touhoku University near the hot spring.

Vaccinium ovalifolium (Kurousugo).
A kind of blueberry.

Lobelia sessilifolia (Sawa-gikyou).

The garden has a nice marshy area, where you can find lots of Drosera rotundifolia (Mousen-goke).

Jigoku Numa. The Swamp is a kind of crater lake produced by the eruption of Mt. Hakkouda. The water in this swamp is strong acid and hot. We saw even the steam on the surface of the swamp.

Listera nipponica (Miyama Futaba-ran).

Decent supper at Sukayu hot spring. This is the cheaper version of the 2 kinds of supper plan...but it still tasted nice.
With this supper and nice hot spring and nice little room, it costs only about 6000 yen for one person.

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