Friday, 12 February 2010


I spent last weekend at a curious place I'd heard stories about since I first came to Japan. Its an area of Wakayama prefecture where warm, volcanic rock runs underneath the riverbed in such a way that you can literally dig you own onsen (hot bath). Being the middle of winter and all, it was pretty damn cold outside so our digging efforts were soon abandoned in favour of the pre-dug pool 200 metres down river from where we were staying but I can vouch for the fact that there were indeed puffs of gas rising from the shallow rocky river directly outside our hotel window.

The hotel we stayed at (木の国温泉) - a traditional ryokan - was quite old but the food and price were nothing short of incredible. Freshwater fish, nabe, sashimi, gratin, miso soup, ... a banquet fit for kings. For anyone looking for an escape from busy Osaka life and something a bit different, this place is definitely worth considering.