Sunday 4 November: After a family dinner in Nagoya, we go to a cafe - everyone orders coffee, except me (melon soda) and my cousin Yukie (banana milkshake.)
Monday 5 November: Dinner at Nomura with Hitomi, my sister Hiroko and brother-in-law Tamotsu.
Appetizer of sesame tofu and sake from Kochi.

Scallops grilled with soy sauce.

Deep fried oysters - with very thin batter scattered with sesame seeds. You don't really need any sauce. Yum!

Deep fried chesnuts.

Braised nodoguro (a kind of sea bass.)

Friday 9 November: Ichiro's mother invites us for dinner. My big ayu fish.

Sushi, salad and crab, among many other delicacies.
We're given all kinds of bunny objects to take home with us, but... these are not really bunnies, are they??
Sunday 11 November: Travelling to Beppu, to visit the Mixed Bathing World art festival. On the way, we pass a town called Usa (which doesn't have anything to do with rabbits, but I still have to take a photo of the station sign...)

An interesting casual eatery spotted near the hotel: instead of wax samples of food, they place the actual dishes in the show window facing the street!

But as I don't feel like eating out, this is our supper: bento bought at Kokura station on the way, with uni rice, mixed seafood and veg.
Monday 12 November: We take a bus to Kannawa, one of the active spa areas (the town is full of them), to mix art watching and sight-seeing - which is the idea of the whole festival anyway.
First we stop on the way to have a look at the first of the many Jigoku (literally "hell", they are hot springs): Blood Pond Hell.
I seem to remember the water being much redder than this on my previous visit (40 years ago!) and am rather disappointed - just like going to Blue Lagoon in Iceland and finding the water not very blue!

Spot UsaKousa :-)
There are cheap bath houses (entrance 1-2 Euro) all over the town, and free, open-air foot baths too. Here at the entrance to Kannawa area, there are free foot steam baths.

People steaming their feet & lower legs.

There's a foot bath too.
To Part 2