We left Maebashi at around 10a.m. We had planned to leave earlier, but Yusuke got a phone call from his office to tell him he was being moved to another department from 1st September. He’s been working for the tax department for the past two years, and really hates it, but it was a bit sudden to tell him he was being moved, and not a great start to our holiday really.
Anyway, it was really hot – surprise surprise, so thank God for the air conditioning in the car. We drove through a lot of tiny villages and started to think that we should have stopped off in the real world to eat something. We passed tiny restaurants that were big enough for about two people and didn’t have anything I liked. We finally drove through somewhere that had real shops and stuff, and stopped off for Yakiniku (Korean BBQ) there and a yummy ice cream for afters.
Once we started getting higher up into the mountains, there were signs at the side of the road showing the temperature change. I got so excited when one said 25 degrees!!! When we arrived in Kusatsu, the familiar smell of eggs from the hot springs hit me – Yuk! Yusuke drove through the town to get to the inn. The roads are so unbelievably steep there, that I had to close my eyes while he was driving to cope with it! Scary!
We arrived at the inn at 3p.m. – perfect check-in time. It looked a little bit run down compared with other places nearby, but it was nice inside. Apparently, there was a classical music festival taking place over a fortnight, and most of the guests there were amateur musicians that had come there to have lessons from professionals. The owner was letting them practice during the day, but they had to stop at 10p.m. Listening to a concert is one thing, but listening to a group of people tuning up and all playing different things is another…
That night, we ate at a really yummy Italian restaurant! We were quite surprised that the food there was so good, and vowed to go there again next time we go to Kusatsu. It was just a small restaurant, but very popular and yum!
We reserved the outside hot spring bath (there were public baths, but full of the musicians so I didn’t want to share), which was really relaxing, and not too hot. That night, I opened all the windows, and pulled the screens across to stop the bugs getting in. It was so nice to fall asleep without needing the air conditoner and getting some real fresh air.