UNISEX PUBLIC BATH AND 3 OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN JAPAN'S WINTER | GRACE FILLED TRAVEL JUNKIE

UNISEX PUBLIC BATH AND 3 OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN JAPAN'S WINTER

As someone who comes from a very tropical country, I am not familiar with winter. Heck, all we have in Indonesia are summer and rainy season. To go even further, we can't really identify which season is happening because sometimes it rains and the next second it would be very hot.
Enough about Indonesia for now, there is sill so much beauty and fun in Japan that I want to show you, especially during Japan's winter time. When I visited Japan the last time, I was in the middle of a winter-spring season transition. I was getting the best out of both seasons! To jump into the point, here are 4 things you can do to enjoy Japan's winter! 

PS: you don't want to miss number 4.



1. Winter sports at Hachimantai Aspite Line.
No, that is not the winter sport I'm talking about, but that was my first snow encounter. I experienced a snowy ground in Australia when I was small, so that doesn't really count. When I first hopped off the car, my heart jumped like a little kid again. I was so excited to see snow.

If you wish to experience more adrenaline rush, Hachimantai Aspite Line is the place for you. After a few hours of drive up to the peak, you will see slopes of snowy hills all around you, making it possible for sports enthusiasts to try on snowboarding, ski and many more!
He went downhill a few minutes after this shot was taken.
The view from the top.
I wish I could adapt to the temperature faster to try on some of these sports, but my body couldn't take it. So there I was, on the highest peak of Hachimantai's mountainous plateau, enjoying the view. I was wearing 4 layers of clothes, yet the wind got me shivering so strong. However, I refused to walk inside and miss such an amazing view from the top.
Layers of mountains.
Behind this smile, were shivering bones.

2. Strawberry Picking at Hachimantai's Salad Farm
I was a big fan of Kobo-Chan since I was a kid. One time I was reading Kobo-Chan, the comic book situated him picking strawberries and eating them directly at a Salad Farm. Since then, it has always been a dream deep inside of me to experience the same situation. 

The dream finally came true in Iwate Prefecture, precisely at a local Salad Farm in Hachimantai.
Strawberries on your left and right!
The rule in this salad farm is simple: pick and eat as much strawberries as you can in 60 minutes. If you are not a fan of strawberries, this strawberry picking experience will change your mind. They have one of the best tasting strawberries I have ever tasted. They were enormous, juicy and sweet.

Other than that, there were varieties of animals living in the compound. There were horses, rabbits and llamas! Of course, llamas were the stars for this Indonesian boy who had never seen one before. Heads up, they were such vicious eaters!
Meet Bonbon!

3. Snow walking at Hakkoda Snow Corridor
From the Iwate Prefecture, lets switch to Aomori Prefecture. This prefecture is known for its apple harvests and its snow corridor, which is also known as the Hakkoda Snow Wall.
Hakkoda Snow Wall.
The snow wall wasn't really that special, at least to me. What's special was the view from the frozen Suirennuma Pond located just behind the snow wall. The frozen pond became a plateau of snow for visitors to play around or even experience a little snowball fight. 

If moving around is too much for you, sitting down is definitely an option. Trust me, the view was very much enjoyable!
A dock right in front of the frozen Suirennuma Pond.

Too thrilled to stay on the ground!
More great views.

4. Unisex public bath at Sukayu Onsen
I told you not to miss this one!
Because it is not awkward at all.
Unisex public bath.
Interestingly, this is how Japanese bathe. They strip down, completely naked and jump inside a pool alongside other naked people. This is called onsen, or also known as the hot spring public bath.

Onsen, in general, is not a unisex bath. For this very reason, Sukayu Onsen is popularly known as one of the very few unisex public bath. People of all ages enjoy this unisex hot spring from 8 AM to 9PM everyday. There is a separate bathroom for those who are shy, but I didn't fly all the way to Japan to be shy.
 
Yes, I tried the unisex public bath. It was interesting to see that there were lots of men and only one woman. I guess men are more shameless in nature.

Since I wasn't allowed to bring my camera inside, I took this picture from the internet to give you a feel of what happened inside the unisex hot spring.
True story.
Till next week!

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