Enjoying Japanese hot springs in the rain

My first post on this blog was about hot springs in Izu peninsula not far from Tokyo, so much I was impressed by the experience and the setting! So of course when I went to Tokyo this summer I couldn’t contain myself and went to Izu again. It was very hot but raining most of the time. Nevertheless, it did not scare too many tourists, so I did not find the walk along the Kawazu river with seven waterfalls to be as great as the last time. On top of that my Japanese friend Tomo couldn’t join me…

Still, I enjoyed viewing the waterfalls and hiking through the hilly forest.

I wanted to make a photo of me in the bamboo forest but didn’t have much time to go away from the hiking trail.
It was quite astonishing to walk through such a dense subtropical forest that is just 2h away from bustling Tokyo agglomeration…
I didn’t see any deer like the last time, but there was another beautiful and much more frequent encounter: a huge black butterfly the size of a small bird.
In the end of the trail, more and more settlements became visible, and a sign of the local natural wonder appeared too:
This is a cloud of steam coming from the hot springs. It was quite hot, but I was looking forward to a warm bath after getting wet in the drizzle (though it wasn’t so bad thanks to an umbrella that the woman from the information desk at Kawazu train station gave me).
I couldn’t wait to go to the same onsen as the last time, called Amagiso, as it was right on the bank of the river next to the last of 7 waterfalls. But unfortunately it was closed, although it was just a quarter past 4! Unusually for Japan, the staff didn’t even bother to explain it to me in a polite form, so I just went to another onsen few meters away. I could still see some people in open-air hot springs of Amagiso, but to my disappointment they were all in swimsuits, which I didn’t take with me, so probably it was a good idea to go to another spot. So the neighboring onsen did not have such a nice view of the waterfalls (I could only hear them, but it had somewhat more traditionally decorated pool.
And I had it all for myself! It felt fantastic to soak in this hot bath during the rain.
For directions, check out my first post about this area.

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