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Day 21/90 – 15 April 2016 (Friday) Part 1

I was in the Hongu area, but I didn’t visit any of the three hot springs that the area boasts. 😢

1. Wataze Onsen

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Wataze Onsen is the largest Rotenburo, which means open-air hot spring bath, in all of western Japan.

2. Kawayu Onsen

Kawayu Onsen is a geological thermal wonder situated on the Oto River, a tributary of the Kumano-gawa River. At Kawayu Onsen, hot spring water effervesces to the surface of the crystal clear river.

From December to February, nature forces are adapted to create a bath so colossal that one thousand people 😱 can bathe at the same time and therefore the bath has a name, Sennin-buro.

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Visitors can dig their own hot spring bath at Kawayu Onsen!

3. Yunomine Onsen

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Tsuboyu, a small cabin by the creek that runs through Yunomine Onsen, is the only hot spring that we can bathe that is registered as UNESCO World Heritage! One to two people can privately bath in this small stone lined hot spring bath for up to 30 minutes. I guess that’s why it is very popular with couples.

I visited Wataze Onsen and Yunomine Onsen on 14 May. Though I didn’t have time to soak in Tsuboyu bath and other hot spring baths in Yunomine town, I think it’s a MUST to visit Yunomine town if you are in the Hongu area! The tranquillity of this quaint hot spring town in the evening (about 6 to 7pm when I was there) and the air of antiquity that I felt… AH~ IT’S SO FANTASTIC! As I was typing this, I was closing my eyes and immersing myself in the wonderful memory I had… AH~ I’m missing my 90-days solo trip in Japan again.

I wish I’m in Yunomine town now staying in either a traditional Ryokan Inn or family run Minshuku guest house and experiencing the Japanese culture. I feel life is so busy in Singapore until I wish the time can stop and pass whenever I want it to be!

Day 67/90 – 31 May 2016 (Tuesday)

IT’S LUNCH TIME…!!! Therefore, I feel like sharing a little of my WWOOF experience to spoil the appetite of whoever see the below collage! HAHAHAHA! 🔥😈🔥

The whole farm only had three people worked, my female host and her relative, and I. Thus, I gathered the cow dung in ALL (four) cow houses ALONE! The cows have eyes to see me, and I herded them, but they didn’t move fast or didn’t even move! Furthermore, I didn’t want to hear my female host says I’m slow, and I wanted to finish the tiring task soon. I was so stressed to the extent that I swore in Chinese and English (think Hokkien also #singlish 😆) and lost temper to the cows. Amongst my 90 days in Japan, I swore the most on my 67th day. If another WWOOF host didn’t have visitors during my Okinawan trip, I wouldn’t have gathered the cow dung.
If you can’t even stand seeing the collage, I suggest you don’t WWOOF in a farm which mainly raises chickens, pigs or cows. 😄

I can smell the cow dung despite wearing a mask which its package states that it has an omnidirectional fit structure and carries the lavender aromatic smell!!!

The smell of a cow farm is the LEAST SEVERE!!! among the three types 🐔🐷🐮 of animal farms according to what I understood my third female WWOOF host. She said, to my surprise, a chicken farm smells the worst. Based on my personal experience, one boar wins about 25 cows and 15 chickens.

Day 20/90 – 14 April 2016 (Thursday)

I first arrived at Wakayama prefecture like a blur sotong 🐙 as I didn’t have the time to decipher the local bus timetables I found online beforehand. I was lucky that my Airbnb stay in the Wakayama prefecture included free transportation to Daimon-zaka, an impressive cobblestone staircase slope which runs from the base of the valley to Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine, Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple, Three-Story Pagoda and Nachi Waterfall. From Daimon-zaka, I walked to the four attractions. My solo tour (see Nachisan Sightseeing Map for details) takes me about 3 hours. If you have insufficient time and/or energy, the tour is excellent in experiencing a short walk on the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes.

Only two pilgrimage routes that span several hundred kilometres in distance are registered in the World Heritage! They are Way of St. James (in Spain) and Kumano Kodo. Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes “date back more than a thousand years when imperials and aristocrats took WEEKS-LONG 😱 journeys from as far away as Kyoto to hit up the Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine, Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine, and Kumano Hayatama Grand Shrine”.

The cobblestone staircase is uneven, and maybe slippery, from what I remember. I looked down while walking to ensure I will not slip. I think I had a small slip for at least a time. I was wondering how the servants behaved when they were carrying their masters on the sedan. LOL? The imperials and aristocrats may have walked on their own to show sincerity lah 😆

I think the time was already close to 3pm when I was in Daimon-zaka Teahouse asking the obaachan about the details of renting a Heian period kimono. I can’t remember the details clearly. I think there are two rental choices, 1 hour and 1.5 hours costs at ¥2,500 and ¥3,000 respectively. The latest return time should be 4pm. Since the tour takes about 3 hours, I can’t return the kimono by 4pm. Therefore, I completed the tour in my clothes. 😢

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I visited Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine on 14 April because I came across a website that mentions the shrine will have the 🌸Cherry Blossom🌸 Festival. However, I don’t see the festival going on, 😢 maybe because I arrived too late.

If my first train had stopped at platform 12 instead of platform 13, I wouldn’t have missed my second train which will depart at platform 11! 😡 Though I only got a minute to switch train from platform 12 to platform 11 at Shin-Ōsaka Station, I think I can catch my second train. Platforms 11 and 12 are not separated by railroad track or platform. I just need to walk across to platform 11 from platform 12. My first train stopped at platform 13 instead of platform 12, so I waited 1.5 hours for my second train at platform 11! 😡 Anyway, I find writing the train routes on a piece of paper and study it beforehand is quite useful. After one of my third Airbnb hosts taught me that, I always do it. An Australian guy thought I was going to draw after he saw me with a pen and a piece of paper. 😂

Back to sharing the few attractions and “tada” photos!

NACHI WATERFALL! The tallest waterfall in Japan and can be seen from far out on the Pacific Ocean! The most magnificent waterfall I have visited so far.

The falling water hits on the rock till I felt a heavy water mist and the wind was blowing. I felt cold as though I was in a room with an air-con switched on. Upon experiencing the natural air-con, I hope to visit Nachi Waterfall again and I did! However, I was disappointed. 😢 I don’t even feel a hint of magnificence when I was standing in front of the Nachi Waterfall the second time.

I find the brown sugar ice-cream is sweet, but not greasy, and it’s worth trying. I tried different flavours of ice-cream frequently in Japan. I had vanilla ice-cream mixed with green tea powder and red bean on the same day. 🐷🐽

 

 

 

I often miss my 90-days solo trip in Japan 😢

Today I miss my 90-days solo trip in Japan 😢 The severity is I feel like my soul is dying and I can’t belong to Singapore. I’m not kidding! My elder sister can understand my feeling!

I ‘worked’ with a British guy during my last WWOOF period. He is actually not a WWOOFer, I remember he said a WWOOFer bought him to the animal farm 😂 He said he belongs to the world instead of London after I asked him where he is from. He has travelled for two to three years consecutively when I encountered him in June, he may still be travelling!

I guess belonging to the world is one of the things I wanna have. “If travelling was free, you’d never see me again.” However, got Facebook and Instagram lah! Hahaha

Anyway, share some photos 😆 I took them at Osaka castle. I spent some time on doing the collages!

So many tourists visit Osaka castle. I think very few people know an arcanum aka secret place exists in the Osaka prefecture. A Shanghaiese guy visited that arcanum after working in Osaka for a few years! Thus, he is surprised that I visited that arcanum ✌🏻️ Heng I followed an Irish lady to that arcanum! Less than 10 people were in that arcanum when we were visiting! So many people in Osaka castle and its surrounding area. So touristy! I recommended that arcanum to a Chinese girl and a Taiwanese guy, the Chinese girl told me that she likes it! Even though she lives in China that has natural sceneries way better than Singapore, she also likes it! I won’t know how real her sentiment is. She may be courteous lah

I will reveal the name of that arcanum when I write about my days in the Osaka prefecture. Hehehe 😆

90-days solo trip in Japan

Some of my friends and acquaintances know I flew to Japan alone and stayed there for 90 days. None of them and also my family members are aware of all the experiences I had in Japan, so I will be updating this blog to let them know. No lah! My main purpose is to record of how I have done, eaten, felt, heard, seen and thought, and indulge in my reminiscence. My first time of travelling alone and visiting Japan, though my Japanese is not even on elementary level! I have done many things the first time too. Farming, hiking mountains alonehitch-hiking and etc! Until now, I sometimes feel amazed for returned home in one piece. Farming can be dangerous!; I will illustrate when I share my WWOOF experience. Thus, I think my sharing on my 90-days solo trip in Japan may become a diary. I doubt readers other me (if any) can endure reading my long stories.


I will start my new job soon, and I have a lot to learn. Thus, I have no idea when I will complete writing about my trip. I will begin writing about my days in my most favourite prefecture in the Kansai region, Wakayama prefecture. It’s a pity that only five people (three are foreigners I crossed paths with in Japan) I know visited Wakayama prefecture! I know three of them went Koyasan and one went Wakayama city. I don’t know the last acquaintance went where in Wakayama prefecture except he went there for a sailing championship. Other than Koyasan, Wakayama prefecture has other beautiful places. I find Wakayama city is way less beautiful because it is a city like its name says. I love visiting remote rural areas, especially those with ambience and/or scenery I feel magnificent. You may discover why I like Wakayama prefecture the most among the seven prefectures in the Kansai region if you follow my blog (I will be surprised if people tell me they follow, so surprise me? 😂). I ‘reveal’ a few photos first.

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I haven’t visited Mie and Shiga prefectures that are also within the Kansai region, but I’m confident to conclude that not visiting Wakayama prefecture if you fly to Osaka is a waste. Why? Because Wakayama prefecture is my most favourite prefecture in the Kansai region. Hahaha

Afterwards, if I have the time, I will write about my most favorite island, Yoron Island. Near to the island’s Ooganeku Beach, it’s the Yurigahama. I visited it! HURRAH! I have wished badly to visit Yurigahama ever after I saw its beautiful photos on Tsunagu Japan.
I’m very glad that I had included Yoron Island in my extended itinerary (45 days to 90 days) when I was in Japan. Only one or two among my Facebook friends visited Yurigahama excluding the islanders who live there. I made friends with a few islanders!

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Not only the beauty of Yurigahama left me a deep impression, but also the fervent islanders. I had a lot of fun with a few islanders. Danced, drank and sang! I even did simple yoga and ‘recited scriptures’ with a few other islanders!

After sharing my most favourite prefecture in the Kansai region and most favourite island (Wakayama prefecture and Yoron Island FTW!), I will start writing about my WWOOF experience or my days I spent in other prefectures. Japan has 47 prefectures; I merely went 8 prefectures which are Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo, Wakayama, Tottori, Okinawa, and Kagoshima.

No tourism bureau in Japan engages me to evangelize about the beauty of some places. I write purely in my personal capacity because I want to share the ravishing places (I find) I went.