Saturday, March 31, 2018

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Yuda Onsen JR Station 湯田温泉駅


Yuda Onsen JR Station (湯田温泉駅) is a train station located along Yamaguchi line. As the name suggests, this is the train station nearest to Yuda Onsen. By local train, it takes about 20 minutes to commute from Shin Yamaguchi JR Station, a major train station served by Sanyo Shinkansen, to Yuda Onsen. Due its accessibility by various mode of transportation, this is one of the more popular hot spring district in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Limited express and sightseeing trains serving Yuda Onsen JR Station include:
(1) Limited Express Super Oki (おき), commutes between Tottori and Shin Yamaguchi, via Kurayoshi, Yonago, Matsue, Izumo-shi, Masuda, Tsuwano, Yamaguchi and Yuda Onsen.

(2) SL Yamaguchi (SLやまぐち号) is a sightseeing train driven by a steam locomotive and commutes between Shin Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. The train usually operates on weekends and public holidays, and makes one round trip on its day of operation.
- 8521 Train: Shin Yamaguchi (1050 hrs) > Yuda Onsen (1106 hrs) > Tsuwano (1259 hrs)
- 8522 Train: Tsuwano (1545 hrs) > Yuda Onsen (1714 hrs) > Shin Yamaguchi (1730 hrs)
SL Yamaguchi: http://www.c571.jp/

Top left: Bade farewell to SL Yamaguchi; Bottom right: A 26 feet tall adorable looking white fox monument welcomes visitors to Yuda Onsen. 
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What's nearby?

(1) Yuda Onsen 湯田温泉
Yuda Onsen JR Station is actually not located at the heart of Yuda Onsen; the main street (San-in Road (山陰道) where hotels/ryokan and other facilities such as footbaths and Tourism Center are located along is about 10 minutes walk away from the train station. Upon exiting from the train station, walk straight and you will pass by Inoue Park (井上公園) and eventually see a Lawson convenience store along San-in Road. For our trip, we stayed at Kokian (古希庵) for a night and requested for them to pick us up from the train station. Having said that, I tried to walk from Kokian to the train station on the following morning after breakfast and it was quite manageable.  
Yuda Onsen: http://www.yudaonsen.com/


(2) Footbath (or ashiyu) just right beside the train station.
It is always welcoming to see a footbath upon reaching/exiting a train station. This is especially so after I have walked long distances over extended period of time. Soaking into the footbath helps to soothe the leg muscles and ease the ache. After multiple visits to Japan, I have also make it a point to put a towel into my bag which is used to wipe my feet after soaking them into a footbath, if I ever get to encounter one anytime during my journey. The location where the footbath is situated in this instance was also a thoughtful one because you can get an unobstructed view of trains passing by the station while enjoying a foot therapy.

Legend says. There is a gigantic monument of a white fox, standing at 26 feet tall (close to 8 m) and weighing 3 tons, erected beside the footbath. Apart from this. we also noticed that there were numerous statues of fox placed in different parts of the hot spring town during our exploration. Not that Yuda Onsen is or once was a breeding ground for fox but legend says that the discovery of Yuda Onsen is linked to a white fox. Long ago, a white fox would visit a small pond in Yuda every night to bathe his sore feet in the water. A Buddhist priest was bewildered by this unusual sight and went to scoop some water from the pond. That was how the hot spring source was discovered. 


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Commemorative stamp: 



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