A chance to take a break from the Kumano Kodo trail at Yunomine Onsen was quite welcome. Our accommodation at Minshuku Yamane was a really peaceful place (as you can see form these photos of their garden)
and it looked like we had it to ourselves as the young German couple who we had dinner with the previous night had left to continue walking on the Kumano Kodo. Well that was what we thought until a bunch of cases and bags arrived with the luggage shuttle service just as we were heading out. Just around the corner on the main street we could see the Wordl Heritage onsen in a cabin over the stream that runs through the town. It can be booked for half an hour for two but didn’t really appeal to us.
Locals also used the hot water stream to place baskets of eggs and vegetables in to cook. (Our breakfast boiled egg being an example of the efficiency of this method.) Further down was the temple just at the entry to the public onsen.
In our minds bathing could wait until later. After finishing yesterday with a very demanding walk from Hongu we had decided to take the bus back to Hongu for another look. Coming on the bus gave us a whole new perspective on Hongu as we came from the opposite side. The massive tori gate still stood out.
You also approached the grand shrine by climbing the stairs.
I had taken the opportunity to write out a postcard which I purchased from the very helpful service officer at the Toursit Information Centre. It was going back to my parents via snail mail as at their age they are not email users. Near the grand shrine you could have the stamp postmarked with a special postmarked and send it from the special postbox.
We took a bus back to Yunomine and ate lunch at a small cafe near the public onsen. Even though it was quite busy we were quickly served by the lady who was running a one woman cafe. Quite impressive and the food we ate was delicious. Karen ate sushi and I had ramen noodles with beef and vegetables. Stopped on the way back for this photo in the main street of Yunomine Onsen.
Once back at our Minshuku we decided to use the onsen while it was quiet. This gave me the chance to take a couple of quick photos of the dressing room, the soaping up and preparation area and of course the onsen itself which was constantly fed by the natural spring stream running through the town. The water entered this bath at the top left and it was pretty hot but you can adjust to it after a few minutes.
Here I am looking the part after a relaxing bathing session.
Dinner time was a much noisier affair than the previous night. We had a couple from Melbourne, a group of six from Perth, and two women from Scotland, though one spoke with quite a Spanish accent! The food was delicious and here’s a photo of Karen just before the meal started. The conversation was lively and it made for a lovely relaxing end to our day off from walking.