Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kusatsu Hot Spring Trip (Part 4) Kousen-ji Temple, Kusatsu Yubatake, and Sai no Kawara Outdoor Bath / 草津温泉旅行 (パート4)光泉寺、草津湯畑と西の河原露天風呂

Before checking in at our pension (small inn), we parked near the center of town and first went to the main temple in town - Kousen-ji Temple.


Little snowman / 小さな雪だるま
Temple Bell / 鐘楼堂
Gyoran Kannon / 魚藍観音
The sign may be a bit difficult to read so I have provided what is written below:
Gyoran Kannon (the "fish basket bodhisattva")
Designated as cultural property of Kusatsu town.
Chouemon Takahara, owner of the Kiriya, a by then typical Japanese -style high-class restaurant, donated this statue at the Konpira-shrine in the Sensui-district of Kusatsu Onsen in the year 1771.  Now it is standing peacefully at the top of the main stairs which lead to the Kosen-ji temple.  It was built for worshipping "dead" fish.
After the issue of a decree that ordered the separation of Buddhism (temples) and Shintoism (shrines) in the first year of the Meiji restoration (1868) the Gyoran Kannon statue was moved from the grounds of the Konpira-shrine in the year 1877.  Many other Kannon stone statues (in total more than 100) were destroyed.  The statue was transferred to the Kosen-ji Temple and thus escaped destruction. A basket filled with fish is revealed where the robe of the statue is open. Its face is graceful, tranquil and beautiful.  Height: about 1 m.

Fudo-do / 不動堂
Shaka-do / 釈迦堂
Hondo / 本堂
Prayer boards / 絵馬
This is the first of one of free baths we enjoyed - Shirahata no Yu.
ここが最初に入った無料の温泉 ー 白旗の湯。
And the site that Kusatsu is famous for - the yubatake.
そしてやっとあの名所をこの目で見た ー 草津の湯畑。
I just love the atmosphere of hot spring areas.
A manju shop was giving out free samples and tea as well.  Very delcious.

Looks yummy but we would be having dinner at the pension.
Shop selling onsen tamago.
Of course we snacked there.
Colorful post office boxes / 可愛い郵便ポスト
We were heading to the Sai no Kawara Outdoor Bath.
What the devil? Oni no Chagama ("The Devil's Kettle")

Enmusubi Jizoson / 縁結び地蔵尊




People enjoying a foot bath.

As the Sai no Kawara Outdoor Bath is very large and quite popular, I had to borrow a couple of pictures from the web to show you the size of the place.  You can also check out their website at

I did say very large!

Kusatsu Anamori Inari Jinja / 草津穴守稲荷神社
Getting dark.
Kataoka Tsurutaro Museum / 片岡鶴太郎美術館
A very large shoe.  Where is the other one?

Yume Jizo / 夢地蔵
And time to go to our abode for the evening - a small pension called Spur.

We checked in, then headed to another bath before returning for dinner.
And after dinner, we will be heading back into town to enjoy more baths and more fun!  The trip continues...

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