Friday, December 2, 2016

Yamada Onsen, Part I

A highlight of the trip - not this hairstylist's sign, which is part of the "Engrish" series - was heading to the Yamada onsen for a big dose of family history, discovery, drama, and a dip in a hot bath.
On the way to Kyoto Station for the voyage to Toyama, passing by "Delifrance", which at first seemed like "Deliverance".
"There are no exits."
Who stays at the Hyper Hotel?
On the train to Tomoyama. Everything is just so darned clean. My mother asked me to take a picture of this sign - I will have to ask her what it says.
Saw a fair number of solar panels along the way. This will soon be (one hopes) a non-event in the world.
Love the distortion with fast-moving foreground objects and digital cameras.
At the kamaboko (fishcake) stand in Toyama Station.
 Tree mummy, ready for winter.
Toyama tram. The city was 90% destroyed by B-29 bombers in the waning days of WWII. We didn't visit it, but from what I read, most of it is modern.
As long-lost relatives, we got the V.I.P. treatment, staying in the V.I.P. suite at Yamada Onsen. This japanese space had its own tea room. Tatami mats, simplicity, and a great view of the river below.

The place is vast, with 156 rooms, two or three restaurants, and of course, the baths. As legend has it, a samurai fleeing from the losing side of a battle saw a monkey skipping into the mountains. He followed the saru (monkey) to a hot spring, where he decided to found the hotel.


Checking out the family tree, a complex web of intrigue.



 Autumn colors outside the window.





Rock garden in the corridor.
Main staircase in the entryway. The current building is part of a complex built from the 1960's through the 1980's. It is a modern structure, with large rooms and multiple facilities.

The original structure, or at the least the one that great-grandmother managed, pictured below, was a traditional wooden building that housed the owners and about 7 rooms' worth of guests, not counting the main guest rooms in a separate building.
This is the structure familiar to my family, before a later generation decided to rebuild in a modern style.

The old days were better, weren't they...

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