♨ in Fukushima ＋ ♨ in Tochigi
The video above is a cave hot spring bath of "Genbi no yado Aizuya" at Shiobara in Tochigi Pref.
My husband & I drove to Futamata & Shiobara hot spring resorts on May 11 to 13. When we were heading in the mountainous areas, beautiful new green leaves pleased us so much.
When we got to Kashiwaya Ryokan, a double-flowered cherry tree welcomed us
at the entrance. The inn stands on the slope down to the Futamata River and there are 5 hot spring sources on the both sides of the river. Some of them are hot springs as hot as 50 degrees Celsius while others are much more tepid.
I felt 46 degrees Celsius hot spring coming out of bottom holes of the rock wall while I saw tepid spring flowing down from the rock wall at my eye level. When I gazed at the surface of the bath for a while, I saw some bubbles coming up from the bottom. Thus the bath keeps moderate temperature by mixing hot and tepid springs from the original wells.
How to take the cave hot spring bath!
First, you'll place your magnet before or on the time you'll take a bath.
Second, you'll hang the board that shows "occupied".
Then walk along the corridor listening to the sound of the Futamata River.
The left image: Is it hard for you to see tepid spring flowing through the cracks of the rock by the corridor?
The left and center images above show the indoor hot spring bath and the right shows open-air hot spring bath.
Kashiwaya Ryokan is located in 50-minute drive from Shirakawa Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway and is about 50km north of Tokyo.
The image on the left is dinner at Kashiwaya Ryokan.
The image on the right is breakfast.
Leaving Kashiwaya Ryokan on May 12, we dropped in at a shrine named Onabe Shrine (御鍋神社) at Tenei village, Fukushima Pref. You can see a big pot hanging from the ceiling and two 500-year-old cedars as objects of worship.
The images above are Onabe Shrine which enshrines Tairano Masakado, Kikyouno Mae (Masakado's mistress), and Tairano Kyuro. It is said that Heike no Ochiudo, fugitives from the Genpei War which was taken place in 1180～1185, once lived around here.
I saw mountainous Japanese wisteria blooming in their best on the way for Shiobara hot spring resorts, where hot spring resources are abundant.
We stayed at "Genbi no Yado Aizuya" on May 12 which has run a ryokan at Shiobara hot spring resorts for about 350 years. There are two hot spring sources in the yard, one is 57 degrees Celcius and the other is 66 degrees Celcius. They combine two different hot spring water to keep a good temperature to bathe in.
The image above is the cave hot spring bath, which I was happy to bathe in twice!!
(You've already seen the video on the heading of this site.)
At the entrance of the cave hot spring bath, you'll see Bishamonten, a male deity and you can drink the hot spring water so I drank a little but it was not tasty.
There are two more indoor hot spring bathes in this inn. I'm sorry I didn't take any photos.
The image on the left is dinner with five more dishes of tempura, grilled Japanese char(イワナ), egg custard dish, simmerd mountain vegetable, and marinated crab meat with sesweed at Genbino yado Aizuya.
The image in the middle is dessert of strawberry mousse and rolled sponge cake served after dinner.
The image on the right is breakfast.
Genbino yado Aizuya is located in 20-minute drive from Nishinasunoshiobara Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway and is about 40km north of Tokyo.
We completed perfectlly our theme of this trip to take a 100％ free-flowing hot springs from their original flowing wells.
This is a map from Tokyo to Futamata and Shiobara Hot Spring resorts.