A walk through the moutains above Tamatsukuri Onsen hot springs

[!Poor english alert!]

It’s hard to shut oneself in one’s room when the weather is so good , and the sky so blue! The author of this blog, quite the sanpo (散歩 = « a walk ») type , decided recently to walk from Matsue Castle to Tamatsukuri Hot Springs and come back through the mountains. It’s usually easy to go to Tamawukuri Onsen by train or by bus from Matsue station, but when you have free time and a little bit of an adventurous spirit, this can be a very pleasant walk.

IMGP9214_resizeI walked to Tamatsukuri along a large road, and it’s wasn’t amazingly interesting, to be honest. I was however surprised to find this strange thing a few meters before the last tunnel marking the entrance of the Tamatsukuri Onsen district. It’s actually a stone tank where hot spring is flowing naturally at about 70 degrees used to… cook eggs. There is many of these in Japan, and « onsen tamago » are even available in supermarkets,  but it’s quite unusual to find one in the middle of nowhere. Bring your own eggs, a basket, plunge them into the water for 30~40 minutes, and enjoy it with a pinch of salt. This place is at walking distance from the Onsen district (here).

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I arrived then at Tamatsukuri Onsen. I walked upstream along the Tamayu river until the limit of the ryokan district, and then turned on the left towards the Tamatsukuri Historical Park. (More information on Tamatsukuri Onsen here)

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From there I took a small road behind the Tamatsukuri Resource Centre going through the mountain back to the south part of Matsue. In Japan the road network is quite dense, but many of the  roads are very small and sometimes almost deserted, and are for this reason a useful and pleasant way to explore the Japanese countryside without the risk of getting (too much) lost. The road starts here.

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After some efforts I was lucky enough to be able to see the Tamatsukuri district from above.

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I’ve met absolutely nobody on this road, this is also the perfect place for a bike ride. You can rent bikes in various places in Matsue, more information here.

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A few curves later, I reached this point where I could see the north part of Matsue (if you look close you can see the top of the castle)  and Yomegashima Island. The road then took me safe and sound to south Matsue, near Nogi station.

More to come soon 😉

Bonus : I highly recommend this map to all those who like walking in the countryside of Matsue/Shimane. Everything is written in Japanese, but it is still very useful even if you can’t read the place names. You can find it in most of the large bookstores in Matsue and Izumo.

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