Camping in Kurokawa Onsen.
After visiting the neat little town of Aso, just under magnificent Mount Aso volcano, we were anxious to try our new tent. The weather wasn’t really good, it was raining a lot and the temperature was around 19 C during the day and 15 C at night. After one year and half of summer, our bodies are not adjusted to this kind of cold 🙂
We found a nice campground 6 km from Kurokawa Onsen, called Chaya No Hara. We hitchhiked from Aso and a nice lady took us all the way to Kurokawa Onsen (although I’m sure it was not her destination). There was no bus so we walked 6 km with our bags to the campground. By the road. At least there were not much cars 🙂 (you could hitchhike on some parts of the road, where there are rest stops).
Chaya No Hara camp is quite big and people usually come by car. There was only one other couple somewhere in the camp. We didn’t venture far as we were on foot and already tired, so we just set up our tent on the first level. The surroundings were beautiful. Green grass, thick forest and virds singing. We enjoyed the sun as much as we could.
There is ni real store at the camp and you are in the middle of nowhere. Ee thought we could buy some noodle soup or something at the camo but there is just vending machine with drinks. And the man at reception has hot water, if you have soup. He didn’t speak much English but he somehow directed us to a shop/restaurant/gas station somewhere close. Or far.
We walked (on the road again) in the direction of a rest stop. A nice lady offered us a ride to some kind of tourist shop with souvenirs and expensive food. There were also 2 restaurants (ground level was cheaper and upper level was more expensive). There was also a gas station and a market with reasonable priced food. We also had black sesame ice cream. YUUUUM!
On the way back we stopped at a nearby shrine. Older lady who knew 10 English words gave us a tour in Japanese. She was so nice and lovely and we listened and nodded and somehow it all made sense, even with a language barrier. She gave us ice cream for free, showed us her flowers and even wanted to make us dinner.
We made our way to the camp and prepared for the night. Putting on everything we had to wear, we snuggled in our sleeping bags and it soon became very cold. It seemes like Kurokawa is even colder than Aso. What can I say, it was a difficult night. Shivering and not sleeping because of the cold. But we were looking forward to waking up. Because this was the day of our Sanga ryokan experience. A night in the traditional Japanese hotel with our own private steam bath. Aaah 🙂