Walking around in Kumamoto City without any map… (lost) I had a bit of a ‘tottoro’ discovery moment. Wandering around aimlessly had much merit. In the middle of a concrete jungle, I came across this ‘tunnel’…
The enigmatic Kumamoto Castle. Some walls were damaged by the earthquake, the castle itself was largely okay.
One of Kumamoto’s famous dish is Sakura meat. This dish is particularly close to home for Aso. This will fall under Kyoudo Ryouri 郷土料理; regional / local dish . Some may find this hard to stomach, but this is actually
Konokayu 木の香湯, also known as Kugino Onsen 久木野温泉 was located in the southern Aso village. Quick 5min walk from where I stayed Little Asia guesthouse (previous post). It was such a great stop for the evening after hikes or a long day of walking around. This was not a mixed bath (men & women bath naked together; konyu 混湯 Konyoyu). There will be a separate post on the infamous mix bath Sukayu 酸ヶ湯, ‘1000 people’ bath; which I went via hitch hiking. Another story another time.
As some of you already know, I often don’t spend much money on accommodation. I enjoy the pricier establishments of course, but many of my fondest memories were produced in much humbler places. Little Asia guest house, Minami-Aso, was one of those. The guesthouse was run by this super mom and her dad (no English at all) + 2 kids lol. They’re so friendly and willing to help / chat. Homely Japanese hospitality. Hubby and I stayed there for 3 nights. It was amazingly simple and homely. So relaxed with the wooden all over look. Tatami on a bunk bed?
This was a seriously thrifty trip. Hubby and I stayed at a guesthouse (more like a local home). The key expense was transport *LOL*. Surrounded by beautiful rice paddy and various farms. So shopping / convenient store was nowhere to be seen. Just sheer natural beauty. This was 1 hour train away from the bustling Kumamoto. Surreal how the scenery changed completely. The region was called Minami-Aso (South Aso); the precise station that we were heading to was Choyo.