Spent the first day travelling via train. The first from Osaka to Matsumoto, or as the announcer likes to say Matsuuuuumotooooo. Here we met a friendly Japanese man who was explaining the scenery. He even helped us change trains. From here it was a local train that stooped everywhere and was crowded. Slowly ascending into the Alps we had to change trains again and kept going. When we finally arrived in Kamishiro it was easy to find our hostel as it was right by the station and had a windmill on top. We were greeted by our host and told it was just us and 1 girl.
Walked down to the launderette which had a steak dinner with a back door in from the launderette. Steak whilst we wait, don’t mind if we do. We headed back and found we had the place to ourselves, an evening of flicking through more T.V.
Checking the map the following morning we headed to main Hakuba via the train. The clouds gone we could see the mountains surrounding us. Even if they looked like a painted background with the mist. We headed right out of the station and found a log cabin restaurant, and when we entered they had fresh ingredients everywhere so couldn’t resist.
After finishing lunch we headed north up the mountain a bit to an onsen, now after reading the etiquite and what other people had said we went in. Well that was all wrong, no towels in the bath, it was Au natural. Sitting in the outside pool was really relaxing letting the body soak whilst looking at the scenery. Apparently theres good salt in the water so no washing afterwards.
Looking at the map it wasn’t far back to our hostel and a shop on the way. Off we walked, with me in flip flops. The map lied it was further. An hour and a bit later we arrived back and needed another shower. So much for a relaxing day.
The next morning we took a couple of bikes from the hostel and headed to lake Aoki. This was made interesting by the tunnel that suddenly appeared with no path. Making it through and to the lake we found all the shops closed so just found a spot on the side and went swimming. A beautiful clear lake filled by springs.
We took a different route back which was fun as downhill, this was when I found the brakes didn’t exactly work on my bike which made it more fun. When we got back our host had opened her new restaurant so we chilled and had dinner.
Come half 8 the mini bus arrived to pick us up and took us back to the lake. Here we donned life jackets and headed out in the canoe. We rowed across the lake and back to where we were swimming earlier. Pitch black with the stars out it was awesome. On the other side the trees came alive with the flashing lights of the fireflies. Here we parked under the trees and watched them all around us.
The following morning we were treated by our hosts and taken back to the lake with their canoe and allowed to take it out. A morning spent drifting and rowing around the lake was fun but after a while became too hot so headed back.
Back to Hakuba for another Onsen but made sure we took a train back this time.
When we got back I spent the evening sitting outside chatting to our hosts and a couple of customers.