Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The road less travelled - the hata hata kan

The Hata Hata kan
After a busy morning of local sightseeing, Hiro's parent's decided to go to the hatahata kan.  Hata hata is an a specialty fish of Akita.   When Hiro was a child they used to buy hata hata in wooden boxes - the returnable box cost more than the fish...  After years of overfishing a moratorium was placed on catching them and the numbers have returned to a more sustainable level.  Hiro and I assumed the hata hata kan was a local museum dedicated to the story of the hata hata.

It was not.
The hata hata kan is an onsen directly opposite the Akita-Shirakami railway station on the Gono railway line.  The baths look out onto the Japan Sea. We went to the tatami room after the onsen and by chance came across some mountain climbing friends of Hiro's parents.  The tatami room was a big room with lots of low tables and zabuton cushions for sitting on. There seem to be no shyness about lying down and sleeping on the floor, the beer vending machines outside no doubt ensured peaceful slumber.  Hiro was tempted but in the end apprehension that he might snore won out...
Entry to the day onsen was 400Y/ adult - very cheap by Kanto standards, on the expensive side for Odate though.
Just as an aside, Hiro's father was saying that this area was washed out by a major tsunami about 1000 years ago... there is no chance of the Gono trainline surviving a major tsunami...
The railway station across the road from the Hata hata kan

The Japan sea, from next to the hata hata kan

The Japan Sea coast looking down to Noshiro

the goro goro - rest relax and recuperate tatami mat room.
I felt too conspicuous to take a photo in the room - lots of people
were lying on the zabuton cushions sleeping.  It goes with the
at typical frame of mind that people are in when they go to an onsen.

The hata hata kan from the front - because there are outdoor onsen
(rotenburo) the privacy wall blocking it off from spectators
extends to almost the cliff.

The road back - unusually straight.

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