Hirayu Onsen – Day 2
The next day we woke up bright and early… at 10 when they came up to tell us we had to hurry or breakfast was going to finish. I guess all 2 of the other groups there were just as late because they were just arriving too.
Breakfast was again an elaborate affair. I wouldn’t have minded if they just threw everything onto a platter, Denny’s-style, but I wasn’t doing the dishes so bring it on. Afterwards we went up to our room to pack and check out and get a daytime view of the area.
After checking out we walked around the still-deserted town. The souvenir shop/liquor store was open, but everything else was closed.
We walked back to the bus stop to wait for the bus back to the town proper. I was out of cash and there was no ATM, but Ann was nice enough to buy me a jar of milk. The bus came and took us back down the mountain which was remarkably less terrifying in the day when you can actually see out of the window. Once back in town, I grabbed some cash at the post office and we headed out for souvenirs and lunch. Takayama is famous for its cows (hence the milk Ann bought me), wild vegetables, sake, and the very unappealing sarubobo dolls. Most of my souvenirs for people revolved around the beef angle. Beef curry. Beef hot sauce. Beef jerky. Beef candy (which didn’t survive the bus trip home. Sorry bout the sarubobo, Tatsu). A couple of people I didn’t really like might have gotten some pickled mountain vegetables. Ann found more respectable Japanese souvenirs. Cheese cakes and some sarubobo that were cute-ish instead of hide-ous. On our search for food (lots of shit was closed in the middle of week in the middle of winter in the middle of the mountains) we ran into a temple, also deserted. After about 30 seconds of culture we high-tailed it out of there and found some food in a tiny little place off a side road.
After that, we managed to barely make it back in time to catch our bus. It wasn’t quite as luxurious or as fast as the trains we took to get to Takayama, but it was much cheaper, and there was no transfer, so we could sleep most of the six hours back to Osaka. I mean Ann could. Me sleeping on a bus is like me walking on ice. Its just not gonna work.