Supposedly, bears of the region come bathe in the hot springs… nope, just me.
Had to wake up at 4am to get photos before the onsen started filling up with people. Worth it.
A couple shots of the larger onsen.
Its amazing. So lush, there are flowers all along the trail leading to the onsen…lilacs, honey suckle…the air is sweet smelling. Then, as you get closer, you smell a faint sulfur smell. Not a negative scent…almost welcoming.
Quick tour of my room!
Three parts, sleeping, sitting, and viewing area, attached bath, and plummeting view of the river.
ALSO! Push pups in the mini fridge!
#hotelbutts, ryokan edition.
Finally got to Takaragawa Onsen, the grand finale to my trip.
Its a historic ryokan located high in the Japanese mountains. It took nearly four hours to get there: 1 hour on bullet train, 1.5 hours local train, 45 minutes on a bus, then a car picked me up from the ryokan. Phew.
But I’m here now.
What’s a ryokan? Its a type of full-service Japanese inn that originated in the edo period and defined Japanese hospitality. Meals are served via geisha, doors are opened for you on their knees, eye contact is a privilege, your drink is always full, and they’re addressing me as ディラン-どの (Master Dylan).
The ryokan is surrounded by natural thermal hotsprings that smell of light sulfur…there are four developed springs with 8 different temperatures, and a river of frigid mountain water cutting through everything.
The only way this could get better is if I were in a bara manga and everyone who worked here were beefy submissive redheaded pups.
So, I was window shopping, and then I found these Jeremy Scott basketball shorts in a haute fashion consignment store…seemingly brand new with original tags, priced at 60% off.
They’re kinda sexy. I got them. Ahhhh…I bought something “cool” in Harajuku.
More Gundam shots. He has pretty nice calves, but is all guns. (Heh).
At his feet were some souvenir shops and (to my delight) a Gundam cafe that served shaved ice with some weird Gundam twist. So I got the Gundam Fuel Mango Plasma shaved ice.
Just west of the gay district is Shinjuku, which is part red light district, part electronics, part cosplay…its kind of everything. And the busiest train station in the world.
One of the places I really wanted to visit today was the Shinjuku National Garden for tea in their massive tea garden.
Sadly, it was closed and I was quickly turned around by white-gloved policemen. Hmmm.
Went to a coffee place nearby and had tea there while looking at the park through heavy traffic. Same thing. :(
The view from my capsule hotel in the heart of Tokyo. Another photo for my #hotelbutts project. Heh.
I left the gay district just as golden hour hit. Its a very interesting place…with the exception of one rainbow flag and some ambiguous sex stores, you’d never know you were among 300+ gay bars. A shame, I was hoping to get some Japanese swimwear, but there was very little “gay” shopping.
I’m curious to go back when the bars are open…but, with only one more night in Tokyo, I think I’ll spend it in Shibuya and make my way to Oedo Onsen for some communal bathing.
I don’t do these memes, sorry @cornfedmusclepup, but after completing my Taipei 101 hotel backside shot, I realized I’ve got seven such portraits in this unofficial project. I shall name the project Hotel Butts.
Presenting: the hotel backside project, where I take photos of my butt in the place I’m staying. Left to right, top to bottom, Wynn Las Vegas, a train car to Portland, Singapore hotel, a penthouse in Acapulco, a boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen, and a condo in West Hollywood.
Checked into my hotel today. I picked it strategically for the view of Taipei 101, and here’s my obligatory backside hotel shot.
Can’t see it so well, but the dolphin gave me a bloody nose.