Japan 2023: Day 18

Oh boy, I ate too much. But that’s at the end of the day.

Today I met my friend Yumi and since she knew about my back she suggested going to an onsen. I had no idea she’d drive so far. But first, I had breakfast at the Greenberry’s just down the street from the hotel. The yogurt even had granola in it! Quite tasty.

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Then Yumi came to get me for the hour-and-a-half drive up to Yubaru Onsen. On the way we stopped at a soba shop that’s only open on the weekends and is quite popular.

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We arrive just before opening so we got in right away but the lines formed soon after. The lady kept saying their tempura was said to be tasty and she totally undersold it. It was better than the tempura-only shops I’ve been to. And it was “shin-soba” made from recently harvested buckwheat just two days ago!

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Picture from Yumi of some old guy with his soba.

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Then it was on to Yubaru Onsen. There’s even a free open-air onsen there which was full of naked dudes including one who was just standing around smoking. If you zoom in (and I don’t suggest it) you can see him when he was being more modest, holding a towel in front of him. But when he grabbed his cigarette he threw the towel over his shoulder. There was a woman there too but she was wearing something close to a bathing suit from the olden times.

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Yumi’s picture that shows the bathing suit which looks like a green blob in the lower middle. Haha.

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Yumi’s picture of some old guy after getting out of the onsen and having some strawberry-flavored water.

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So on the way back we stopped at a city with a famous sake brewery and it was an old town with castle ruins. They were having a sake festival and I had some kuromoji ice cream. I think kuromoji is a kind of wood. Too lazy too google it right now.

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It was a quaint old town and since we were both sleepy after the onsen, we stopped at a random coffee shop. At first we thought it wasn’t really open, even though there was a sign outside, because it was full of records and knick knacks. I had a great peach soda and Yumi said the coffee was surprisingly good. He even brought us tea and rice crackers and the whole thing only cost ¥1000!

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And then it was back to Okayama, where we went for yakiniku. I overate, but even worse I proved to myself that I shouldn’t EVER eat garlic. Woo, the gas. The meat was awesome and the restaurant has a Showa theme. Or it sort of did. It’s been around that long!

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We even went for dessert (where my guts started to complain) and luckily Yumi gave me a taste of her creme brulee.

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And that’s it for the night. Fortunately my stomach feels much better now!

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