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.
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.
A closer view of the rice stalks, which grow in very wet soil. Large areas of land are irrigated with canals.
One of the many picturesque stalls in the town, selling made-to-order snacks.
One of the stalls featured tiny fish that nibbled away the dead skin on your feet.
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.
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