November 19, 2001: Lured by wonderful autumnal weather
As it is too hard to stay in home on a wonderful day like this, we drove out in the morning. We naturally head to Kujyu Highland as usual. Today, we drove through a road we haven't gone through. This is an overlook. The monument reads "Serikawa Hometown Forest road" written by Hiramatsu, Governor of Oita prefecture.

A grand view of Kujyu mountain range with Mt. Yufu on the right end.
This is our favorite resort, south highland of Kujyu. There is a wonderful Marathon training course. I tried to jog just a couple of minutes and soon exhausted.

Mt. Aso, the largest volcano in the world, soars beautifully in the distance. There is no reason not to visit there on a refreshing day like this.
We pass through a driveway through the late autumnal color.
In Aso Caldera, rice paddies were already all cropped and wait for winter to come.
We took a short rest at a viewpoint and enjoyed lunch of rice ball. Beautiful landscape and refreshing air make the simple lunch very tasty.
We head to south passing by Takamori town. There are wonderful roadside plantations of Doudan azalea.
At the rest parking, my husband makes a plan to go further.
The soaring wall of the hills started to narrow the winding road that runs along the deep valley. We have already passed Shiiba village. Route 265 requires vast amount of constant road maintenance because it weave its way through the folds on Central Kyushu Mountain Range. The signal stops all the traffics for 45 minutes and allows the car to pass carefully for just 15 minutes.
Sunset comes quickly to the deep valley of late autumn. We finally decided to find a shelter tonight.

We were lucky to find a private house providing bed and meals in a small village called Murasho of Nishi-Mera Village. There is a clean hot spa nearby.
This is the very center of Central Kyushu Highland. The shadow of the hills runs up quickly the opposite side slope even it was still before five in the evening.
The lukewarm spa was very smooth to the skin and was really comfortable to enjoy bathing by looking blazing autumnal tints.
The dinner in the private hotel was really great, sliced and half-frozen raw meat of deer, assorted fried vegetables such as dried persimmon and wild yam, natural Ayu fish, home-made boiled tofu, boiled wild vegetables, and boiled spinach assorted with ground sesame.
The dinner after warm bathing and wearing a short coat makes me very happy.