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SHIBETSU to KUSSHARO


June 22, 1999

Today go to two secret hot springs. The first is Kunbetsu Hot Spring. I looked up it on the map, but it looked very complicated. Anyway I started but as I had fared, I got lost. When I was giving up, I saw a rider on the way there back. I asked him and got there at last. Going down a short slope, I found a small depression on the river. That is just a secret hot spring. I put my hand into the water. Very hot. I had to pour water from the river 5 meter below with a bucket. We brought water for more than 30 minutes. I came here to relax but ended up with being fatigued.
I want to relax and ease fatigue. I decided to go to another hot springs. Fortunately there are one more near here. The name is Kawakita Hot Spring. This is also obscure hot spring. I took off the clothes and took into the natural open-air bathtub. Very good. After a while, an elderly gentleman came into the bath and tell me, "I am in charge of this bath. I have to clean this just now". And "Please help me" I couldn't help but help him. I got more tired.
Then I came here, Kaiyodai Campsite in Nakashibetsu (free).

Mt. Rausu in Shiretoko Nat. Park


June 23, 1999

Go on a half-day touring for Notsuke Peninsula with a female rider who I saw at the campsite. The wind was very strong and it is a very hard day to run by motorbike. At Notsuke we walked along the coastline for about an hour and enjoyed many kinds of wild flowers. On the way back to the campsite we went to Maruei Hot Spring. The bath is in a modern building in central Nakashibetu City.
At the campsite, we hold a dinner party. About 10 people joined the party. Each of us brought material and cooked together. It is lucky that there is a cook among us. He cooked us some good food and we drank and talk till late at night. There I got to know a chief priest of the Buddhist temple. He is a very interesting man and in spite of a priest, he ate much meat. I asked to him, "Are you allowed to eat meat? Isn't this kind of kill?".
He said,"No, I think real kill is that we don't eat food that is already dead." We talked to each other about many things. About life, business, religion and love. Very impressive night.


June 24, 1999

Rain again. I Took down the tent in a hurry and headed for next destination, Kawayu Hot Spring. It is near Lake Kussharo. When I got there, I looked like a drowned rat. As soon as I checked in the rider's house named Hachi-no-ie (Bees' House, 600 yen / person), I rushed into the public bath because I was chilled to the bone. This public bath has at-home atmosphere and I got a lot of tourism information around here from the manager of the bath. After that I dropped in an Ainu folkcraft shop. A young handsome man came out and said, "May I help you?" I said "I'd like to buy some postcards." He said with pointing a bear carved in wood, "You must buy more good things like this", and smiled. He is the first Ainu I've seen in Hokkaido. "But they are so expensive". He told back,"These items deserve enough to be priced expensive"
Some people say Ainu People are good tellers and I thought it's true. I talked to him for some more time. It was very interesting.


June 25, 1999

Go to Lake Mashu first in the morning. Lake Mashu ranks first in Japan in water transparency. Fortunately it was so fine and I was able to enjoy its mysterious view. Then I went to Io-Yama Hot Spring. Going through a dirt road, I got to halfway up Mt. Io-Yama. 'Io' means sulfur. There is a small open-air bathtub surrounded by sulfur smoke, which is going up from the ground here and there. It is a very adventurous bath but the temperature is not so high. I enjoyed the morning bath in the smelly smoke. After the bath, I dropped into a restaurant by Lake Kussharo for lunch. This restaurant runs Minshuku (Japanese inn) on the other. And what's more surprising is the restaurant changes into a live house and every staff members becomes a musician or a dancer. I got very interested in it and I booked today's room and live show.
After the check-in I left the load and went out again. I ran on Lake Kussharo Dirt Road, where fate was waiting for me. I was running my motorbike along the lake in a good mood.
But just as I eased up at a right curve, I fell down perfectly. I hit my left shoulder hard against the ground and get no strength. Oh my god! Anyway I handed up the motorbike in spite of terrible pain and headed back to the Minshuku. The president of the Minshuku drove me to the hospital and I was diagnosed as a fracture of left shoulder bone.


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