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Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Trip to the Countryside, in Yufuin, Japan

Yufuin Rice Field
Photo by myself in Yufuin, a small town surrounded by hills, on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

Mark and I took a day trip to Yufuin, a small town a couple hours east of Fukuoka, Japan, where we've been staying. We traveled by rail through hilly terrain.

Yufuin is known for its many hot spring bath houses, called onsen, both public and private. Visitors can soak for long periods in baths of varying temperatures.

There are natural hot springs all over Japan, including urban areas like Tokyo. At public onsen, men and women occupy separate areas. Couples can spend time relaxing together at a private one. If you ever visit Japan, do visit an onsen. The hot water takes some getting used to, but you are relaxed for days afterwards.

Onsen, Yufuin Japan
Our private onsen in Yufuin had an outdoor and indoor bath. The spring water is naturally extremely hot, over 60 degrees Celcius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

Most of Yufuin is taken up by farms, rice fields and a small town center lined with shops. The landscape is stunning, since the rice stalks are a brilliant shade of yellow-green, and the town is surrounded by hills.

Mark and I steeped together in a private onsen for an hour. It was incredibly relaxing. We then walked around the town and were overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the area.

Yufuin Rice Field
A closer view of the rice stalks, which grow in very wet soil. Large areas of land are irrigated with canals.

Yufuin Town Center
One of the many picturesque stalls in the town, selling made-to-order snacks.

Yufuin Foot Cleaning
One of the stalls featured tiny fish that nibbled away the dead skin on your feet.

Yufuin, Japan
The town center in Yufuin is a short walk from the train station.

New York Portraits is on vacation in various parts of Japan. I'll be returning to NYC on August 31.

Related posts: Tropical Luxury at the Caribe Hilton, Puerto Rico, A Short Visit to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and Sunset Views, Mexico.

9 comments:

Alistair said...

I have always wanted to try the bath in Japanese style but I wonder of the heat of your bath 60C might be a little on the warm side.
Glad to hear that Rupert is fine but am interested in why you travelled out of Tokyo?
Alistair from Forfar Scotland

ruma said...

In Yufuin, mountains are very beautiful.


It was good trip. . .



From Saga, Japan.
Greetings.
ruma

AB said...

Rural Japan looks idyllic compared to the cramped life in the city.

Kitty said...

Hi Alistair
The hot baths took some getting used to. Believe me, it was hot, hot, HOT at first! It made the very humid air seem cool in comparison.

We are returning to Tokyo for another couple days before heading back to the states. Mark and I were visiting friends in Fukuoka, so we decided against going to Kyoto, during this trip. Hopefully we'll be back soon, since I've heard amazing things about Kyoto.

Hi Ruma
I will have to look up Saga and see what your home is like!

Yes the Yufuin is beautiful. I could imagine myself having a very simple life there and being happy.

Hi AB
The comparison between city and country is astounding here. Just the comparison between Tokyo and Fukuoka is very large, and hard to describe.

I must say though that people in the country and city live in modest homes. It's not like in the states where some people live in sprawling houses. In fact, many houses in Yufuin grew their own rice.

Luis Gomez said...

Beautiful images!

Spandrel Studios said...

What a beautiful, tranquil-looking scene... no wonder you were relaxed for days! What a fantastic trip to take - you must really feel like you're truly *away* - have fun on the rest of your trip!

Pink Paper said...

I love the mountain photo! It looks so serene.

Lily Hydrangea said...

this looks like something I would love.
& the countryside is amazing. Nice shots Kitty.

Dlife said...

what a relaxing sets....go far east landscape and you'll never be disappointed