Monday, January 31, 2011

城崎温泉町...冬に (Kinosaki Hot Spring Town... in Winter)

Over the weekend I was able to visit Kinosaki, a well known hot spring resort area in Toyooka city, Hyogo prefecture. Visiting an onsen (hot spring) is a special treat, especially during the winter. A highlight of the trip was bathing in a rotenburo, or open air hot spring, submerged in hot water with snow and freezing cold wind blowing from above. Kinosaki is also known for crabs, and I was able to eat some very tasty ones indeed. What struck me the most about the trip was the weather - it was really winter, with cold and snow that we have not had in Osaka for some time. Now, my family and friends in in Michigan-Wisconsin-Minnesota will remind me that the cold and snow shown in these photos is nothing compared to the usual winter in the great lakes area. And certainly there has been more snow in other parts of Japan. But it was still an interesting experience seeing winter emerge as the train proceeded closer to Kinosaki. In all the train ride from Osaka to Kinosaki was about three hours. About an hour before reaching Kinosaki the snow started to emerge. At Kinosaki it snowed non-stop; it was enough to remind me why I moved to warmer climates. A challenge of visual anthropology is to share the experience - and I am sure my photos fail to capture the experience of trudging around wet snow and slush while visiting various onsen and my own flashbacks of childhood winters. Still it was a great setting for taking pictures as the snow and lighting provided different shots even of the same scene.

Link to Kinosaki Hot Springs web page:

Related - "Onsen Blog":

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