Spent the morning researching and mapping out all the onsens in the area while the boys enjoy powder runs. Found three onsens within a three block radius from our hotel. Before we started any relaxation, we went in search of nourishment.
Found a ramen place with some people waiting outside. Figured the place must be decent. I chose the ramen option that had the most toppings. The cost was 950 yen. Luckily we arrived at the right time as we only waited for about 10 minutes.
After ramen, we decided to check out the souvenir shop upstairs. They seem to have an inclination for cat themed gift items.
No cat, no life. Can’t argue with that.
The most bizarre gift item was the boob shaped stress ball which felt surprisingly realistic.
After meandering along the main Hirafu road, we arrive at The Vale to experience our first onsen visit. This location has an indoor and outdoor onsen. We arrived right at 2pm when the onsen opened and I was able to sneak some pictures of the onsen area from the changeroom.
Instructions on proper onsen etiquette. Taking photos of onsen is probably a no-no.
Bathing area. We didn’t know what to do with the bucket that was provided. We theorized that in old style onsen, the bucket is used to rinse oneself but in this case, there is a shower nozzle.
We stayed in the onsen for almost 2 hours and came out really pruny. Relaxing in an onsen makes for exhausting work, so we treated ourselves to some tea and crepes at a French bakery across the street.
For dinner, we tried the famous Hokkaido soup curry at a restaurant about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Delicious!