Day 7 – WATAZE ONSEN, Kumano Kodo (熊野古道) 4 of 4, Japan
It was only a short bus ride from Hongu to Wataze Onsen, the hot spring hotel facility where we stayed the night. Wataze Onsen is famous for its outdoor hot spring bathing facilities, some of the largest in the region. We had another relaxing evening at Watarase Onsen Hotel, a perfect getaway destination in the mountains. No foreign tourists could be seen at the outdoor onsen, however, the large hotel complex was decently filled with local visitors to stay the night and some day-trippers who came for the hot spring only.
The bus passed by Kawayu Onsen, a special thermal spring where visitors can enjoy outdoor onsen by the river.
Bamboo screens were set up along the stream for public use.
After getting off at Wataze Onsen, we found our way down to the main lodging facilities called Watarase Onsen. After crossing a suspended bridge we finally reached the main door of the hot spring hotel.
The main lobby of Watarase Onsen Hotel.
A pilgrim monkey of Kumano Kodo at the hotel lobby.
The rotenburo (outdoor hot spring bath) of Wataze Onsen is one of the largest in West Japan.
The facility includes separate outdoor pools for male and female, as well as several family pools.
After bathing in the hot spring, we enjoyed a decent kaiseki-royori (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) at the Watarase hotel. This fresh assorted sashimi was served as appetizer.
The Watarase Onsen complex include lodging and bathing facilities along both sides of the river, connected by a suspended bridge.
After the kaiseki dinner, we took a stroll under the starry night.
The cherry trees at Watarase Onsen Hotel were still in full bloom.
It was a peaceful evening with cherry blossoms against the starry sky.
The next morning, we put on our backpacks again and crossed the suspended bridge one last time towards the bus stop.
At Watarase Onsen bus stop we waited for the early morning bus that would take us to Kii Katsuura. We would then store our bags in lockers and switch bus for a visit to Nachisan and the Nachi Taisha, one of the three main Kumano grand shrines after Kumano Hongu Taisha.
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Read other posts on 2015 Kansai…
Day 1.0 – Kansai Japan 2015
Day 1.1 – Hanami, Mount Yoshino
Day 1.2 – Feast under the Shades of Sakura, Mount Yoshiko
Day 2 – A Day in Kobe
Day 3 – A Day in Central Osaka
Day 4 – Tanabe – Prelude of the Kumano Kodo
Day 5.1 – Takijiri to Takahara, Kumano Kodo
Day 5.2 – Takahara to Tsugizakura , Kumano Kodo
Day 5.3 – Minshuku Tsugizakura, Kumano Kodo
Day 6.1 – Tsugizakura to Mikoshi-Toge Pass, Kumano Kodo
Day 6.2 – Mikoshi-Toge Pass to Hongu Taisha, Kumano Kodo
Day 6.3 – Kumano Hongu Taisha to Yunomine Onsen, Kumano Kodo
Day 7.1 – Ryokan Adumaya, Yunomine Onsen, Kumano Kodo
Day 7.2 – Yunomine Onsen, Kumano Kodo
Day 7.3 – Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Kodo
Day 7.4 – Wataze Onsen, Kumano Kodo
Day 8.1 – Kumano Nachi Taisha, Kumano Kodo
Day 8.2 – Kii Katsuura, Kumano Kodo
Day 9 – Church of Light, Osaka