Continuing the story about my holiday trip - here is day 8.
From Kii-Katsura, I took the local bus back to Hongu Taisha. I had seen a flyer about a paper making shop, but I didn't know where it was. I asked at the information center and was told I needed to make reservations a week in advance. The man behind the counter could tell I was disappointed and said Chotto matte kudasai (Wait a minute please). He called the shop and arranged for me to take a class all by myself that morning! This is one of the reasons I love being in Japan. People always go beyond what is required. He gave me walking directions to the shop and away I went. The shop owner demonstrated and I took photos. Good thing I did because once I started doing it myself, my hands couldn't touch my camera. This wood with three branches gets chopped up and mixed with water and glue. If the bark is mixed in, there are flecks of brown in the paper. The paper is extremely strong.
I made a full size sheet of paper, a bookmark, and a postcard with leaves in it. After the class I bought a few things in the shop to give as omiyage when I returned to Hokkaido. After my craft experience, I went to the shrine and to the giant torii, the largest in Japan.
After being alone for the first part of my trip, I was interested in observing the other vacationers. It was getting close to New Years and there were many family groups at the shrine.
I had a delicious tempura rice bowl in a local restaurant.
After lunch I took another local bus to my next destination, Kawayu Onsen, where the largest outdoor onsen in Japan, Sennin Buro, is located. It was right across from the place I stayed. Being a co-ed onsen in the river, people wear bathing suits or clothes. My lodging provided little pajama-like clothes to wear. I checked into my room and crossed the road for the rotenboro.
This little shrine was up the hill next to my lodging.
Dinner was in the dining room, with an orange and coffee made from onsen water for dessert.