AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia



Posted on Jul 20, 2014

We started the day with a trip to the Hida Folk Village. It was a bit closer than we expected, arriving at the car park about 30 seconds after leaving the ryokan. We drove back, parked the car and walked back up to the museum. The museum contains houses which have been moved from villages in the area to display here and also to prserve the heritage of Japan. They are all original houses and hundreds of years old. It’s similar to the village we visited in Shirakawa. We wandered around the houses for about an hour. It was interesting and informative to see the houses. In some ways the rooms are similar to the ryokans, sliding walls as doors, tatami covered rooms, hallways, etc. Traditional Japanese houses were simple and efficient affairs. The roofs were unique to the area they came from. Different valleys got vastly different amounts of snow in the winter, so the slopes and overhang would be adapted to the weather. Some would have longer, more sloping roofs to ensure that snow would not sit on the roof and also to provide a covered working area. Shorter roofs existed in places with less snow. After lunch we decided to find some natural onsen. An onsen is a natural hot spring which has been used as a public bath. The bath houses in Japan have developed from these onsen and the same rules generally apply. The natural onsen often have mixed bathing and a piece of clothing is provided for the men and woman in the mixed sections. We wanted a nice relaxing onsen in the mountains which was outside and had a great view of the mountains. We found one in our guide book and set off to find it. An hour later we found a tiny road which the GPS said the onsen was next to. At the end of the road was an exclusive looking hotel, so we went in to ask about the onsen. The onsen wasn’t there, but it was at the end of the road, near a car park. So we parked up down the road and I went to take a look. The road was about 5m higher than the river level, with a road on both sides of the river and two bridges linking both sides. The onsen was down near river level and almost directly below one of the bridges. The views would have been of concrete and bridges. Plus people on the road can walk along and stare down. It looked crap so we left. We found another OK looking onsen not too far away. It...

Read More