30 April 2012

429 Kilometers So Far

Ashi no Yu at Kamiyama Castle
We made it to Yonezawa before midnight, grabbed some food and took a short rest/nap, then headed on.  We napped again, at my request, on the side of a dark country road on the first climb.  By 5am we were over two passes and at Kaminoyama Onsen.

Jerome asked a man outside the 7-11 on the edge of town whether we could find an open onsen at that hour, and he pointed us to the center of town.  There, a woman walking her dog steered us to one that opened at 6AM -- basically a public bath fed with hot spring water.  She also mentioned the foot bath on the castle grounds, free and open 24 hours.  We chatted with her and another guy who had strolled to the castle from a nearby hotel.  He was a tourist from Akita, just visiting for the bath and sakura.

The woman with the dog turned out to be a refugee from Fukushima.  She said her home is in the "no entry" zone quite close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, so she is not expecting to return anytime soon, if ever.  At least she and her husband were lucky to flee with their dog, unlike some others.

We used the foot bath and a public hot spring and continued on, and now have only 180km left today.

No comments: