November 6: Mr. Kizu enjoys Oita  by Mie

Today, we went out for sightseeing around Oita area. We first visited Takegawara spa in Beppu City. The spa features its unusual old building originally constructed in 1881 and remodeled in 1937. The design of the roof is called "Kara Hafuu", or "Chinese gable." The entrance fee is mere 60 yen, and many citizens and tourists enjoy the spa. I hope the spa will last forever.
This is Beppu port. Ferryboats from Kobe and Shikoku arrive here. Mr. Kizu had planned to visit Beppu by boat on his honeymoon. Unfortunately he sprained his ankele a week ago of his wedding ceremony and the trip was cancelled. He has been concerning about visiting Beppu. Please revisit here with your wife without fail.
We passed through winding roads colored with autumnal beauty and drove up to the foot of Mt. Yufu. Mr. Kizu looked like impressed by a unique shape of the mountain.

Yufuin is a town in a valley like this. The town was once known as "backyard" of Beppu spa, and now turned to a popular resort that attracts many young visitors. This is a successful result of the revitalization movement by the residents. We will go down to the bottom of the valley through the hairpin turns.
Yufuin is famous for its morning mist that may create beautiful autumnal color like this. We walked around Kamenoi Besso garden and lake Kinrin.

A snap on the background of Lake Kinrin, one of the points of interest in Yufuin.
Besides the lake is a small spa-bathing hut called "Shiatnn-yu", or "lower spa." There are two spa ponds inside and an open spa on the opposit. Anyone can take bathing by just tossing a 100-yen coin into the box in the front door. This time, nobody was in the hut, only clean hot water was overflowing.
A stand sells "natural grown vegetables" run by a group of natural agricultural product campaign. Mr. Hino, a young staff of Yufuin Music Festival works busy in selling the products. I bought fresh Shiitake mushroom, Chinese cabbage, Japanese white radish, and taro.

I have had a net guest in my home from Hokkaido Island before. It was Ms. Sato from Kitami City who belongs to the same Aurora Net as Mr. Kizu. She asked Mr. Kizu to visit a craft shop Toki in Yufuin without fail. This is because Mr. Tokimatsu, the owner of Toki, helps promote the development of industry of Okedo town near Kitami. White wooden bowls are made of Ezo-pine in Okedo, featuring very warm and smooth feel.
We took lunch at Budouya restaurant of Tamanoyu Hotel. The best of Oita food are Yufuin local beer and Bungo beef after all.

A beautiful dish of fried vegetables contais autumnal flavor like lotus route, sweet potato, potato, chestnut, ginkgo nut, and propagulum, each of them brings autumn respectively. The lunch was really wonderful.
We then moved to a lobby surrounded with autumnal grass garden and comfortably warmed by a fireplace. Mr. Kizu talked about his dental special school, in which he works as the principal, over a tasty cup of Kabosu sherbet. We also enjoyed wonderful hot spring in the hotel by looking up Mt. Yufu through the tinted autumnal leaves.
Next stop is to visit Mr. Tanaka in Bungo Takata City. He is not only a member of our COARA, but also belongs to Aurora Net. As he has been talking very closely with Mr. Kizu throgh the net, he was really delighted to meet Mr. Kizu at the welcome meeting last night. He runs a small but good-taste Chinese noodles restaurant.

I love very much eating the Chinese noodle of the restaurant as well. Mr. Tanaka has soon prepared us mouth-watering noodles of Chinese flour dumplings with pork stuffing in soup. My son, who lives in Tokyo, also loves the food and makes it a rule to visit the restaurant whenever he comes home in Oita.
Mt. Tanaka escaped from his business for a while and guided us to a liquor shop Tashibu-so run by Mr. Tsuda. He also joined the welcome party last night with excellent bottles of sake from his shop. Old stone-engraved Buddha images, presumably made in 12th century, sit still in the dark across the road in fronf of the shop.
Many famous bottles of sake are in the well temperature controlled coolers, luring sake lovers.

Mr. Kizu is at his hiest spirit by tasting special sake of Row Gikyo. My husband also bought a couple of bottles. Males are happy today. It is already dark outside. It is hard to look through all of Oita in a day. Please come again to Oita, Mr. Kizu. I will also visit his hometown Asahikawa some day. Have a good flight tomorrow.

Liquor shop Tashibu-so: Manaka Bungo Takada City, Oita prefecture: Phone 0978-26-2005

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