the most tranquil view of all - Iya Onsen, JapanMonday, September 01, 2014
sit, look, think, drink, write
verses we make together
honeymoon happy :)
the view from our room - Iya Onsen, Japan
While in Japan earlier this year, hubby and I made a beeline for Shikoku - the smallest of the four main islands of Japan, and in my opinion the most tranquil, natural, traditional and beautiful.
Every time we visit Japan Shikoku is always on our itinerary, and every visit I seem to fall head over heels for this little spot in the world all over again. The pace of life in Shikoku is slower, and there are definitely far less tourists. It's the one place in Japan where the locals really don't know any English at all, and it's up to me to use my limited Japanese to communicate. But oh, the reward.
This visit (on our belated honeymoon) we decided to splash out and stay at the famous Iya Onsen, nestled deep in the dramatic Iya Valley 祖谷渓. The view from our room was just amazing - with floor to ceiling windows that opened right out onto Iya Valley itself...
the view from our room - Iya Valley - Shikoku, Japan
... and we spent several relaxing, romantic days here, sunning ourselves in the light and writing haiku poems while looking out over the vivid green, misty hills.
steep emerald hills rise
to meet a misty sky, pop!
What better way to enjoy a view so stunning than with chocolate covered crisps? (I heart Japan and it's imaginative junk food.)
our 'his and hers' yukata for wearing to and from the onsen
To get to the onsen we took a cable car (attached to the hotel) on a five minute, 170 metre decent to the bottom of the valley, and were spoilt with even more panoramic views of the valley - and the odd monkey spotting!
Many of the green trees you see here are Japanese Maples - so in Autumn the whole valley is awash in red.
waiting for the cable car
looking down into Iya Valley from the cable car as we descended
In the evenings we enjoyed our meals with the same breathtaking view of the valley...
dinner with a view - Iya Onsen
dessert - jelly spaghetti served with molasses sugar to taste
...and then settled back to take in the night-time views from our room.
Iya Valley early evening
And in the mornings we awoke to our beautiful room and, well did it all again - tea, breakfast, onsen, sleep, poetry, view, wine, food, onsen, wine...
at the crack of dawn
onsen, breakfast, back to bed
way to start the day
We weren't the only ones enjoying the view. Just a short stroll from Iya Onsen is the statue of a boy standing on the edge of a cliff posed as if he is peeing off the ledge into the valley below. According to local folklore passing travellers used to climb out to pee off the same rock as a testament to their bravery. Needless to say hubby wasn't given the option!
Thanks to Emma and friends for this fine 'room with a view' travel blog link up.