Unexpected day of rest. Flooding from the storm prevented us from travelling so we stayed at the onsen hotel.
We had breakfast and a dinner buffet at the Oe Honke hotel. The dinner buffet was GLORIOUS. For lunch we found a soba noodle restaurant nearby.
We spent the night at the Oe Honke hotel in a traditional room with tatami mats. They also have western style rooms but what’s the fun in that?!
We wake again to pouring rain. Luckily this time we pitched our tents under the wood shelter which kept it dry. We discuss our plans for the day over pancakes at the Oe Honke nearby. We won’t be able to ride the original 70mi so we decide to compromise and instead ride to the train station that is 44mi away. However, as we are about to leave, the hotel staff informed us that the trains are down due to the flooding. It seems like nothing is working in our favor but the staff kindly offers us a discounted rate to stay at the hotel and wait out the storm.
After some hesitation–if we stay we won’t make our Asahikawa hotel reservation–we decide to say screw it and take their offer! It ended up being the best decision we made on the trip. They prepare a traditional room with tatami mats for us. The room even has hot tea ready!
We rest for a bit and then decide to go out for lunch and see the town even though it’s pouring. According to google, there is a fox (kitsune) farm (rescue) nearby so we go! So many adorable foxes all running around outside without cages means Robert and James get to go photo crazy. Eventually we have to leave because it’s still raining and I’m quite cold and wet.
At the hotel, we nap, onsen, do laundry, put on the Yukatas (casual Kimonos) and go to the dinner buffet. Holy smokes it was incredible. There were so many Japanese dishes that I had never seen before and all of them delicious. Many made from local ingredients. I stuff myself.
In the evening I go to the onsen and for the first time try the ice bath. Pain followed by numbness and then a funny tingly sensation. Pretty cool. *finger guns ayyyy*