|Tuesday, Sept. 19
Yufuin Youth Hostel
| We followed signs to the train station in Yufuin and got directions
to the youth hostel. The last kilometer was a very steep hill, the steepest
of the whole trip. Our reward was that Yufuin
Youth Hostel was the nicest of the whole trip -- clean and modern,
with polished hardwood floors, a luxurious family bath, fresh new
linens, inviting common rooms and a friendly staff. It used to be a ryokan
(inn) and became a hostel about four years ago.
After a bath we walked down the monster hill toward Lake Kinrin
-- a quaint tourist area with lots of art galleries and gift shops around
a tiny lake -- and found a fancy restaurant called Yunotake-An. We ordered
a set dinner of "fish and vegetable dishes" that turned out to include
raw beef (quite tasty), sushi, pickled vegetables and salads, a cooked
trout, a vegetable stew with rice, miso soup and more. We hadn't seen desserts
anywhere else (except for a lot of ice cream stands that seemed only to
have soft-serve vanilla), so we tried some just to see what they were.
One was slippery cold clear noodles in a brown sugar sauce (very difficult
to manage with chopsticks), and the other was chewy rice things in sweet
red bean paste. This was our most expensive meal in Japan, about $84 for
the two of us.
with bonus features
By the time we walked back up the monster hill, I was too tired