Once upon a time in Japan, we spent a night in a place of glowing night. Shibu onsen is a hot spring town in Yudanaka, Nagano.
We would have loved to have stayed in the place pictured above. You may recognise it? It was the inspiration behind the bathhouse in Miyazaki Hayao’s Spirited Away. Unfortunately for us, it was fully booked. I hope to come back sometime to venture inside.
The town itself was a delight to walk about at night time. Filled with narrow cobbled streets and the sound of geta (traditional Japanese wooden sandals) echoing through the warm glow of the night. People wandering from one bathhouse to another with faces glowing from long soaks in hot spring waters urging each other to take in one more bath. Then there was us, bellies full and shochu drunk, laughing and smiling in good company as we took photos.
Good friends and good memories are jewels of life.