Day 4 Mt Aso and Takachiho Gorge
From Mt Aso to Takachiho Gorge, there are lots of cafés. Leaving Mt Aso there’s a convenience store, a family mart.
Get some snacks if you must and a toilet break.
We stopped for coffee at a Maple Cafe simply because it was the first we saw. For a place so far away, the coffee is quite reasonable for 540¥ per pax. Lovely rosemary bush. Looks new and there’s an outdoor oven for pizzas in summer. Two middle aged service staff who speak English. I wonder if they are the owners because they are so hospitable? Windows framing the moubtain range and a fireplace with soothing music. I smell pizza in the oven.
I highly recommend staying at Shinsen at Takachiho Gorge. It wasn’t my preference but the #1 choice on TripAdvisor was taken and I moved down the list. Having visited the town and stayed at the Ryokan, I absolutely loved the experience. For the price we paid, it was value for money. First class experience of very personal service. http://www.takachiho-shinsen.co.jp/sp/#gnav
For 54000, we had a private onsen which can fit 2 persons.
As well as Kaiseki dinner and breakfast in a private room. All this while from parking your car to carrying your luggage to leaving the ryokan, we never met another guest. Not if the staff can help it. We got very personalised service. The lady who assisted us was only 5 months in the job but very sincere.
What to do at Takachiho?
Trek and take photos. A favourite sport seems to be kayaking. But we didn’t do that. The ryokan gave us a map on how to get to the Gorge.
Rocks and waterfalls.
We saw Japanese wash their hands and some even rinse their mouths (don’t drink) as a form of purifying yourself before entering.
The temple has two intertwining trees and couples walk 5 rounds to bless their perpetual union.
Time to set off.
Isasaka no kizu naki tama mo tomosureba chiri ni hikari wo usinainikeri
If you get a beautiful, bright and scratch-less jewel, without constant polishing and cleaning, it will lose its brightness by a little dust. So human heart also, beautiful and pure heart cannot be kept without constant polishing.