Wednesday, Sept. 13 
Takeo Onsen 

  We decided that before going to the train station, we should check out Takeo Onsen, the ancient hot springs for which the city is known. A reference to this spring is made in a 1,200-year-old document. Legend has it that Empress Jingu took a rest here on her return from a military expedition to Korea. 

  The narrow city streets, paved with tile and inlaid with mosaics, were charming. An old lady pointed us in the right direction. 
  The Ryugumon (Dragon Gate) in the town center is the entrance to the spa area and symbol of the hot springs. At the ticket booth, a woman showed us tiny pictures of the various baths and we picked one. It was an indoor, tiled pool, a little too hot for my liking. I could only stay in the water for a minute or two at a time. 
   At the bike parking area there was a cool poster for keirin, Japanese track bike races that people bet on like horse races.