My intention this bright and sunny morning was to pop up to Kurokawa Onsen and pay a visit to Okunoyu (奥の湯 number 6 on the English map),but I took a wrong turning and spent most of my time photographing the autumn leaves and scenery alongside the ` Warabi Nobori ` walking course instead… Later I realised that the Chinese character 奥 translates as `at the far end` or `at the back of` , so to help anyone else trying to find it,it`s located up a narrow ,winding road (one car width) at the back of Nishimura Ryokan,about 15 minutes walk from the Visitor Center.
But then even when I did eventually find my way to Okunoyu I still spent more time taking photographs in and around the grounds than actually relaxing in the bath….
Looking up from the women`s bath,this was the view….
Okunoyu offers mixed bathing in a cave bath as well as in large and small riverside baths ,the latter of which is lit up at night. Women may have exclusive use of these three baths between 20:00 and 22:00 or the women-only bath at any time. Do check the sign or ask at reception in case this information should change…..and be careful!
Excellent facilities all round,warm changing rooms (with toilet),lockers, soap and shampoo,drinking water,resting area etc. Staff at reception spoke a little English and provided a very useful map of the extensive grounds.
And I`ll leave you with this……
In summary…beautiful riverside autumn scenery
Would I visit again? Yes,I`d like to see the baths lit up at night
Staff: Helpful and spoke some English