January 29, 2001: White Yufuin
We had a New Year party of YMF together with the start meeting of the 27th Festival yesterday. As the weather was so cold that we feared to return to Oita in freezing night, we stayed at a hotel in Yufuin suggested by Mr. Satou, a steering committee member of the Festival. The hotel name was Taishou-kan. We could enjoy a spacious hot spring bathing. In the morning, I found Yufuin valley was covered with snow beautifully. I soon went out for a walk.
The hotel stands still in the chillness of Yufuin (left picture.) Rice paddies and roads are frozen completely.
Mt. Yufu and surrounding hills are in the snow cloud that hides the top of the mountains.
Straw mounds in the frozen rice paddy makes a good scenery of the winter.
I soon flew back to the hotel for warm breakfast. On the left is just-made tofu ready for serve by scooping a wooden spoon. The menu was great and I could fully enjoy all the dishes on the table. Rice paste roasted on the leaf of oak was tasty in particular.
The large hot spring on the fourth floor features its grand view of Mt. Yufu.
In the lobby, they sell marine products including semi-dried sardine from Yonoudu village, a local famous village on "One-village-one-product campaign." Many visitors from outside of Oita prefecture bought them. I also took some dried fish such as horse mackerel, flying fish, and pink fish. For more information, call 0120-26-6354 on free dial.
Mr. Satou is now a consultant manager of the hotel. Thank you very much for your suggestion of the wonderful hotel. He kindly took us to the parking lot we left last night.
In the small lot, my car was frozen completely. What was lucky, the engine started without any trouble, anyway. Thank you again, Mr. Satou.

We still wanted to enjoy Yufuin in the chilliness. The air is so cold that makes steam on the Kinrin Pond, making an illusory scene.
Snow sets on the bamboo grass.
Tearoom Gallery of Kamenoi Besso Hotel offers a cozy rich time over the aroma of original blend coffee. The tearoom was refurbished two years ago with keeping the old atmosphere of the building. I found my favorite hand washer (right) in the corner of the room. I love the tearoom much more than before.
View through the window is wonderful as well. The massive straw-thatched building is Yunotake-Ann restaurant.
Now, we have to say good-bye to the valley gradually clearing up. We wanted to stay longer here, but the road will freeze again in the evening and it will prevent us from returning home.

A warm sunny day presents us a wonderful view of Mt. Yufu in the distance.

I have had an unexpectedly beautiful day today.

Hotel Taishoukan, phone: 0977-84-3000

Tearoom Gallery of Kamenoi Besso, phone: 0977-84-3166

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