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Kaniyu Onsen

Kaniyu onsen in Tochigi prefecture.Kaniyu onsen is a ryokan hot spring with men's and womans open air baths.
I have never been in the woman's open air bath, but I have heard that it is larger and better than the men's bath. Besides these two baths, there are a few other baths, among which at least on is mixed. The water is milky white and nice and warm.

Being a ryokan hot spring, there is of course segregated dressing rooms and shelves to put one's yukata, etc. on.

Map of Tochigi prefecture.From Imaichi city take route 121 north to just before Kawaji onsen. Take the road on your left leading into the mountains towards Kawamata. Pass Kawamata and go to the end of the road where you will find Meotobuchi onsen. From here walk the rest of the way up the road to Kaniyu onsen, or wait for the bus to pick you up. That is if the folks at Kaniyu knows you are coming.

I went to Kaniyu onsen with my dojo. It was the second hot spring trip we went on, the first was to Sachi-no-yu onsen. It was in the beginning of November, and there was already a lot of snow. We arrived late in the evening and parked by Meotobuchi onsen. The bus from Kaniyu onsen soon came and picked us up. We were a total of 8 people, and we got two rooms. We changed into yukata and went down to the dinner. We had plenty of beer, some raw bear meat (mostly fat though), and some raw Bambi. After the dinner we finally went to the bath. It was pretty cold getting naked, but getting into the bath was nice. We stayed in the bath for a while, and my american friend and I then went to some other small mixed bath tubs. There were no other people there, so we enjoyed the different small bath tubs with out holding back.

Having had enough of the hot water we went back to our rooms and got something to drink and started massaging each other. This is kind of a special custom we have. When ever we go some where, we usually end up walking around on each others backs, pulling each others heads, and doing other massage tricks on each other. People eventually got tired and went to bed. My american friend and I went to the indoor bath and soaked there for a while before we also finally went to bed.

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