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Rausu Onsen. Kuma-no-yu

Rausu onsen. Kuma-no-yu on the Shiretoko peninsula in eastern Hokkaido. Rausu onsen, Kuma-no-yu is a free open air hot spring.
The hot spring is separated into men's and woman's areas. To get to the men's area one has to pass the woman's area which i surrounded by a tall wooden wall. The men's bath is totally open, this is a real open air hot spring. The bath is a rock bath with room for about 10 persons. The water is transparent and hot without being too hot to be able to stay in for an extended period.

There is also a little shelter to undress in and lay one's clothes in.

Map of Hokkaido.From Rausu town take route 335 towards Utoro on the northern side of the peninsula. Just getting out of Rausu town, you will be driving with a river on your left side. When it starts going up the mountain, you will see a narrow bridge on your left crossing the river. Stop at the parking place at the bridge, walk over the bridge, and you will be standing in front of Kuma-no-yu.

On the right side of the road is a camp site, in case you are looking for a place to spend the night.

I had just left two hot springs on the northern side of the Shiretoko peninsula and headed up the mountain going south towards Rausu. A girl I had met had come from that direction and had told me that there was a lot of "smoke" at the top of the mountain. Since the mountain is actually a volcano, I wondered what I would encounter on the top. Was it suddenly going to erupt and send me into outer space. I finally got to the top and discovered that "smoke" was fog! But what a thick one. I could hardly see my own nose.

The weather had been great on the northern side of the mountain, but it was pretty cloudy on the southern side, and it looked as if it could rain any time. Going down the mountain I flew past the hot spring before I knew of it and ended in Rausu village. I got the impression that I had reached the end of the world, which was probably not far from the truth. I went back and found a camping lot, put up my tent and went to get some food. There were not a lot of restaurants in the village, but I finally found a place where they served yakiniku. I went inside and had a look at their menu. They had something called todo yakiniku. I asked them what it was, and they answered that it was an animal living in the sea. That helped me a lot. At least it was not fish, so I figured it was whale. Why not, I thought and ordered it. The meat was almost black but tasted very good. Having finished my meal I took of and went to the hot spring. Since it was next to the camping lot there was of course a lot of people in it, so lot's of company. I got in it again the next morning before I took of in my search for other hot springs.

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