Kuju, Oita

Oct 24, 2011 19:14 댓글 없음


Cool Hot Springs and a Carpet of Lavender

Finally tsuyu (rainy season) is over and the real Kyushu summer begins. Looking for a way to escape the city heat? Then take a trip to the cool green Kuju Highlands.

Your first stop is Kuju Hanakoen (flower park). With over 500 different kinds of flowers, the garden always has great variety, but until late July a beautiful carpet of lavender stands out against the deep green of the mountains. Before you stands Kuju Mountain and, in the background, you can make out the five peaks of Aso. An hour in this natural splendor will pass by quickly, especially if you’re licking a Lavender Gelatto (300 yen).

Now, time to enjoy Kuju’s specialty, the onsen. Actually, not hot springs but reikosen, natural coldsprings. At Kan no Jigoku (“The Hell of Cold”) coldsprings are kept at their natural temperature of about 14 degrees and give off a smell of sulfur. The spring baths are mixed, so swimwear is required. Ten minutes go by and you start to shiver: time to go dry off. The facility offers a drying room where a heater evaporates the water right off your body, leaving the spring water’s minerals for maximal effect. For those who can’t immerse their whole bodies, wading pools are also available. But no one leaves Kan no Jigoku without a feeling of satisfying freshness.

For natural beauty and total relaxation, we can’t recommend a more fulfilling day trip than Kuju.

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