Saturday, February 13, 2016

Kusatsu Hot Spring Trip (Part 1) Mizusawa Temple / 草津温泉旅行 (パート1)水沢寺・水沢観音

I guess its about time I started working on those posts my mother has been waiting for.  My wife and I had not gone anywhere for the New Year's Holidays and we weren't planning to.  But as a Christmas present to ourselves, we decided to go on a weekend hot spring trip with our traveling companions Yukio and Reiko and went to Kusatsu at the beginning of December.  Once again, Yukio provided the wheels so we didn't go directly to Kusatsu but stopped at other points of interest.  And this time we wouldn't be staying at a ryokan but reserved a place at a pension (which is a term for a guesthouse by the way).  We would be meeting our friends at Monzen Nakacho and then would head out to Gunma Prefecture.


We picked up a couple of hitchhikers at the first service area we stopped at.  They seemed harmless enough.


I'm always fascinated by public art.  This was at Shibukawa station.
Our first stop would be Mizusawa Temple.
Temple Bell / 鐘楼
Seisho Inari Daijin / 清昌稲荷大神
Bhodisatva representing the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.
Roku Kaku-do / 六角堂
7 Lucky Gods of Fortune / 七福神
Hondo (Main Temple) / 本堂
I had to explore what was at the top of the steps after passing through the torii.

Those are some steep steps!
At the top of the steps is the Iizunadaigongen.

There is also a trail going further up the mountain.

The trail leads to the top of Mount Mizusawa.

No, we did not go to the top of the mountain.

And walking back down the steep steps.
Anpanman / アンパンマン
 Mizusawa Temple Seal / 水沢寺の御朱印
As it was lunch time and we were in Shibukawa, we had to have the specialty of the area - Mizusawa Udon, one of Japan's big three of udon.  The other two are said to be Sanuki and Inaniwa.  Fortunately, there was a Mizusawa udon shop across the street from the temple area and that is where we decided to go.  But lunch will be the next post.

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