After we left Hakata, we took the train down to Yudaonsen. These route are entirely new to us. As we had already purchased the JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass that allowed us unlimited travel for 7 days from Hakata to Shin Osaka, we decided to take this Chugoku route instead of exploring Fukuoka due to the natural catastrophe.
After taking the comfortable train ride, we were ready for an adventure in this spa county. When we arrived, it was pouring so heavily and I had to purchase an umbrella to look for my hotel. Thankfully, we were able to locate the hotel after a 20 mins walk in the heavy rain. The service staff of Super Hotel was so polite and warm, and it helped made the trip bearable. Immediately, I asked for the directions to visit the top few hot springs in the vicinity and immediately headed to one.
After the relaxing soak in the natural springs, I could not resist but order a delicious ice cream in the rest area of the spa. It was creamy and milky, perfect antidote to a hot 40 deg soak. On the way back to the hotel, I could not help but take pictures of cute mascots of yuda onsen- The white fox. Folklore once mentioned that it was the white fox that discovered the hot springs in the area. We did some shopping to get some fruits and finger food.
Soon, it was dinner time. One of the happiest moment in my holiday agenda. We asked around for a great recommendation for delicious food and we were directed to Isokura. Isokura is a restaurant that serves a wide array of delicious food which included grilled meats, seafood, vegetables and sashimi. It was so packed with customers. The only setback was that they did not have any English menu available and we had to try our best in communicating in broken Japanese to order our food. Let me share with you on some of the pictures I took.
I must say that this is one of the best meals I had. So fresh and tasty. Starting from their appetiser with the daikon (radish) in minced pork. The sashimi was sweet and well sliced and presented. Kirin beer seemed to be a perfect companion to the yummy food. The restaurant setting was cosy and unpretentious. At my table, the fellow patrons were so friendly and even shared some of their food with me. We even had a good conversation over beer and delicious food.
My neighbour passed us some of their agedashi tofu and it was the best I had in my life. The dashi broth made the silky tofu so delicious and umami and I just wanted more. The Soramame (giant peas) was grilled to perfection, and accompanied with the yuki shio (snow salt). Sweet, tasty and fresh. What else can I ask for? The hokke (bottom right pic) was not bad, but I think the grilled hokke fish I had in Hokkaido was so much tastier and succulent. I also ordered grilled beef tongue and it was snapped up so quickly, until I do not have the chance to snap a picture for you. The fried prawns was well battered and it was drizzled in a tasty fusion mayo dressing. If I had the chance to return to this place for dinner, I would. My bill totalled near to Aud$75. Was not cheap though but great quality overall. Love it to bits.