March 10: Yunohira spa
by Mie
I was to be visiting to Yunohira hot spring with some of the members of "Group of Friends" to have a study today. Yang and my husband joined it as well. We drove up the destination for 40 minutes from home through the occasional warm drizzling. The hotel, "Shimizu", is located in a small valley. It is run by Mr. and Mrs. Shimizu, one of my close families of Yufuin Music festival.
As our "Group of Friends" is closing its fiscal year, we have planned to have a sum-up meeting in a pleasant atmosphere. As usual, we picked up some lines titled "Work, rest, a life of man" from a sentence "From the heart of an infant" written by Motoko Hani, the founder of the Group of Friends. After the meeting was over, we walked out to the street. Yang looks like pleasant to go with us.
Yunohira hot spring features its old- style slopes paved with stone on the both sides of a gorge called Kagono that merges into Oita river. Old stone paved slope under drizzling rain provides us of a lot of atmosphere. We enjoyed looking around the slope by chatting. (Left picture) From the left, Keiko Inohara, Yang, Etsuko Kouno, Rumi Aso, Mie, and Noriko Takeuchi.

"Visitors staying at a spa to cure diseases enjoy walking around the stone-paved street in the spring drizzle."
We dropped in a famous shop that sells special "Spa essence dumpling", which is so popular that always be sold out before the noon. We bought them quickly. We taste them and found the hot-soft skin made from black sugar was very delicious.
We stopped at another shop that displays many unusual souvenirs such as bamboo crafts, Konnyaku balls (jelly-like food made from the starch of devil's tongue), buckwheat noodles, and other rare items. We are busy looking around this and that. We found a piece of cake made from sugared grains of millet. Yang said she can have a similar cake in Korea as well.
After walking around the narrow slopes of the spa streets, the lunch was ready to take. The lunch box called "Shouka-dou Box" contains a lot of spring-like ingredients such as grilled Ayu fish, beefsteak, steamed vegetables in an earthenware pod, and marinade of fresh bud of Udo and octopus. We have fully enjoyed the feast of the lunch.

"When I opened the lunch box, I found a lot of spring ingredients packed densely in it."

After the lunch, we took the famed "Cave Spa" that features the hotel. The spa, surrounded with massive natural rocks, makes us feel as if we were embraced in Mother Earth. Abundant hot spring welling up from the underground gently warms up my body. I also enjoyed an open spa tab viewing a small fall running down the rocks and beautiful flowers of Ume and andromeda swinging in the early spring wind.

"Pieces of Ume pedals drift down through the hot spring river."

We finally enjoyed a relaxed time in a wonderful tea room.
"Vivaldi music quietly resonates in a tea room with a fireplace of spring."

A picture with , from left; Miss Yang, Mrs. Shimizu (the landlady of the hotel), and Mie.
Today's extra
An unexpected COARA off-line meeting at my house in Fujimigaoka
I had a lot of guests this evening, it became an unexpected off-line meeting at Fujimigaoka; Mrs. Miyase in a blue coat who came to see Yang, her kid Yuuri, and Miss Yang.

Left front is Mr. Kuboki who is scheduled to visit Chicago next Sunday. He asked me to see some maps and paper materials on Chicago. Mr. Miyase, next, and Mr. Matsumura wearing a suite. Mr. Matsumura came here to pick up two copies of the book which was recently published in Korea as an English textbook used in a college in Masan, Korea. The book quotes a part of "A personal record of Hiroshima A-bomb survival" by the late Mr. Terao. He will hand a copy of the book to Mrs. Terao. The forward of the book was translated from original Korean into English by Miss Yang, then into Japanese by my husband.

I have had a pleasant day today.



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