|Friday, Sept. 15
Jigoku Onsen resort
Jigoku means "hell," and the name is sometimes given to
hot springs (onsen) because the bubbling water and rising steam
bring Hades to mind. We took a quick bath at the onsen nearest our
cabins. No faucets at this one -- you splash water from the tub onto yourself
to rinse off soap and dirt before you soak. There was a cup for drinking
the hot water from the spring; supposedly it's good for you. It smelled
of sulphur and tasted metallic.
Jigoku Onsen resort has hotel-type rooms and efficiency units in
a couple of different buildings, a few cabins and some furnished trailers.
Amid the accommodations are several indoor and outdoor onsens.
The complex also has a restaurant decorated like a hunting lodge -- taxidermy,
exposed beams, etc. -- where the menu features wild game.
Kazuko picks up the phone to summon the waitress
The food was brought raw, on skewers, to be cooked over the hot
coals: whole trout (taken live from a tank in the front of the restaurant
that I hadn't noticed on the way in, and still wriggling on the skewer),
whole quail, wild boar meat, duck meat, and whole sparrow (tiny head and
all -- even Kazuko was grossed out by this). Other skewers had tofu with
a tasty miso (bean paste) sauce, vegetables, potatoes and gelatinous
fish paste. And of course there was rice.
||Notice the people behind us. People walk around the resort,
even go out to eat, wearing only their yukatas (robes) and sandals.
Lynne & Rick, clean and hungry
||Rick devours a sparrow.
It's crunchy! Rick didn't eat the head. Neither did anyone else. Kazuko
wouldn't even taste the sparrow.
After dinner, Neal and Rick went to another onsen, a mud
bath that we all would try the next night. I set up the bedding in our
cabin and listened to the wind and rain. Apparently the typhoon was still
hovering to the southwest.