July 31, 2010
There is onsen with iron water in Suwa, Nagano prefecture, which is unusual. The water has sour taste. The original temperature is around 13 degrees celsius, so the color is slightly yellowish. It becomes red when warmed up to prepare bath. In Kaminoyu ryokan, there are 2 bathtubs, cool and hot, and you are supposed to try both taking turns.
This water is very good for your skin problem and digestive organs. I decided to go there because I wanted to heal my eczemas which was getting worse from the heat and humidity of summer.
The owner of the ryokan is a monk, and he explained that if your digestive organs are in good condition, you have no problem drinking this water. However if your stomach is upset, you cannot drink because it tastes so bad.
According to the website, the ancestor of this ryokan got the message from some spiritual beings to use this water to heal the wounded soldiers of war times. There is a small shrine in the back of the ryokan that worships dragon as god of water.
Suwa is famous for Suwa Taisha, one of the oldest shrines in Japan. It consists of 4 shrines, and the 2 of them are in the north of the Suwa Lake, and the upper shrines are in south of the lake.
Everybody was so gentle and easy to talk to in Suwa. Old lady on street, bus driver, anybody.
June and November, 2011
My friend couple from Peace Boat, Daisuke and Sophia, built their own eco house a few years ago in Nojiri, Nagano.
So I visited them as soon as I got back to Japan from Europe.