[Throwback October] Headed out for an overnight trip with Sushi’s family, we decided to head over to Kusatsu Onsen, which is one of the more famous onsen towns in Japan and at 1200 meters above sea level in the mountains. It is also a spot for you to enjoy early Autumn.
Kusatsu has the largest natural flow of hot spring water in all of Japan, much of which surfaces at the Yubatake in the town center. The sulfurous, highly acidic waters have been considered among Japan’s best for centuries, and the resort town has constantly occupied a top spot in onsen rankings. It is difficult to beat Kusatsu in terms of quality and quantity of its waters.
Kusatsu Onsen is also memorable to me too as I came here back in 2008 all alone for my solo Japan trip without speaking any Japanese and fast forward 6 years later, not only speaking the language and married to a Japanese no less. Life is so unpredictable. 😛
Apparently, this Yakiniku shop is quite highly raved in this part of town. Since we got in on a weekday, some shops are not open as most of the time they get more visitors in the weekend so we decided it is not sinful to eat a lot of meat for lunch. The small eatery was right beside the Yubatake so it was really convenient location too.
The lunch was delicious, we initially just got the lunch set which means everyone gets 4 slices of meat but it was so good that we ordered 2 more plates from the ala carte menu. The marbling was very even, the meat was just marinated with some salt and the moment we place it on the heat, the fats would turn oily and sizzled around the meat. It was juicy and oily that filled our mouths with a great heavenly flavor….(getting hungry just by remembering how good the lunch was)
Yumomi (湯もみ) is a traditional method of cooling down hot spring water to bathing temperature by stirring the water with large wooden paddles. The process is accompanied by the singing of a local folk song.
Ladies dancing away and demostrating how the onsen water was cooled down in the past. As part of the performance, guests are also invited to join in to participate in this cooling water dance. At the end of the participation, you can get a certificate
After a quick rest and a long soak in the hot springs, we adjorned next door for our dinner. One perk of vacation during the weekdays, you can use the spare room for our meals instead of eating in your room. Makes cleaning up easier.