Travel Reports by scarreddragon view profile of scarreddragon

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November 19, 2015 - Shiobara Onsen, Tochigi

This past Monday my husband and I took advantage of the nice weather to go on a day trip to Tochigi Prefecture's Shiobara Onsen by car. It was kind of a last-minute trip, but very enjoyable! We were hoping to see some nice fall colors and have a relaxing day, and while it is past peak in the area, we weren't at all disappointed as there were still some beautiful colors around.

We had a bit of a late start, so arrived in Shiobara right at lunch time. Our first stop was Kobaya Shokudo, a restaurant that specializes in "soup yakisoba". Yakisoba is a famous Japanese food, but it's pretty unique to have it in soup! It is also extremely delicious!

Very close to the restaurant is Imaiya, a sweets shop that sells the usual onsen manju (steamed buns filled usually with sweet red bean paste), but also the local Shiobara specialty, toteyaki.

Toteyaki is similar to a crepe in that it has various fillings, but instead of being wrapped in a crepe it is wrapped in a thicker pancake. Each shop specializes in a different filling, and range from large, filling lunch style ones like chicken or sushi, to smaller desert ones. This place uses their onsen manju in the sweet, along with green tea jelly and whipped cream.

I definitely wanted to try some of the other toteyaki in Shiobara, but was too full for this trip. Next time!

Also close to both shops is a suspension bridge and open air bath next to the river.

On the other side of the bridge is a nice walking path and Momiji-no-yu, a small mixed-gender outdoor bath. No one seemed to be bathing today!

The path was too beautiful to resist, so we walked awhile among the trees.

We came out of the small path at a bridge. Shiobara was affected by some severe flooding early this year, and you can see from the bridge's captured debris just how high the water came.

We headed back to the car and on to a different destination a bit outside of town. Kotaro Teahouse is located along a stream down an unpaved road. It's one of those places that is easy to miss but definitely worth going as the setting is so beautiful. It would have been even nicer a week or two ago, but I wasn't going to complain about that!

The sun was already going behind the mountain at this point, so the pictures weren't great and it was getting a bit chilly, but still very nice.

My husband likes camping, so he set up a small burner and a chair to make some coffee for himself, while I went to get "kusa-dango", the shop's specialty, and some tea. The dango can be dipped into the kinako powder and topped with red bean paste. Very yummy!

At last we decided to head to an onsen. Shiobara has a huge number to choose from, so it was hard to decide, but in the end I decided on Kounso since it has very nice outdoor baths.

The water was really hot so we didn't stay in for long. But it was really nice! After that we met in the lobby to relax a little bit.

We decided to drive to Utsunomiya for a gyoza dinner, so that was it for Shiobara for the day. I'm hoping to go again next month when my husband's parents come to Japan for New Year. Shiobara is such a great place I want to go again and again!

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List of Posts:
2016/04/24 - Mitsuhiko Imamori Paper Cut Works Exhibit in Takasaki
2015/11/19 - Shiobara Onsen, Tochigi
2015/08/30 - Southern Kyushu: Miyazaki City
2015/08/30 - Southern Kyushu: Nichinan Coast and Cape Toi
2015/08/30 - Southern Kyushu: Takachiho, Miyazaki
2015/08/27 - Southern Kyushu: Kumamoto Castle
2015/08/25 - Southern Kyushu: Ibusuki and Kirishima
2015/08/24 - Southern Kyushu: Kagoshima City, Kagoshima
2015/08/03 - Tambara Lavender Park
2015/07/13 - Event: Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium
2015/05/01 - Kanna-machi Koi-no-Bori Festival
2015/05/01 - Wisteria Festival in Fujioka
2014/11/15 - Sakurayama Koen: Fall Colors and Winter-blooming Cherry Blossoms
2014/11/15 - Ueno-mura Sky Bridge and Fall Colors
2014/08/22 - Gifu Road Trip Part 1: Gifu City and Gujo Caves
2014/08/22 - Gifu Road Trip Part 2: Gujo City and Shirakawa-go
2014/08/22 - Gifu Road Trip Part 3: Hida Takayama
2014/07/02 - Rainy Season around Tokyo: Hydrangea Flowers
2014/05/27 - Road Trip: Yamadera, Yamagata
2014/05/26 - Road Trip: Yonezawa, Yamagata
2014/05/19 - Roadtrip Fukushima's Ouchijuku
2014/05/16 - Roadtrip: Aizu-Wakamatsu
2014/04/30 - Climbing Gunma's Mt. Myogi
2014/03/09 - Flower Weekend 2: Tokyo Report
2014/03/09 - Flower Weekend 1: Gunma Plums
2013/10/30 - Onioshidashi Koen and Mt. Asama Part 1
2013/10/30 - Onioshidashi Koen and Mt. Asama Part 2
2013/10/30 - Cosmos and Mt. Myogi
2013/10/01 - Fall Flowers: Higanbana
2012/12/01 - Winter Cherry Blossoms at Joumine Kouen
2012/11/18 - Annual Coco Harvest Festival
2012/11/11 - Ueno Cat cafe ''Nekomaru''
2012/11/10 - Tokyo Design Festa vol.36 at Odaiba
2012/11/04 - Utsunomiya, Tochigi Gyoza Festival