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Recommendation by Wabisavi

At this point of my trip I decided to take a detour from my itinerary, skip Tokyo altogether and head to 𝗚𝗲𝗿𝗼 𝗢𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗻 instead. I know many of you will think I'm insane for choosing a little town out in the middle of Gifu over the capital of Japan. But, I was quite tired and the idea of jostling for space with crowds of tourists did not seem that appealing (to be honest, it does not appeal to me even when I'm bursting with vitality). I've spent a week in Tokyo before, and I still feel no urge to return. Gero, Kusastu and Arima form the holy trinity of Japanese most notorious 𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘯 (hot springs). According to legend, a god transformed into an egret (or was it a white heron?) in order to inform the Japanese people of the existence of Gero onsen. Let's all take a moment to pause and consider that. 👍 Taking a footbath tour is a popular activity while sightseeing around Gero (footbaths are small pools of hot spring water set up at the side of streets and in front of stores, and are free to use). Dress accordingly to take full advantage and bring a small towel with you. ♨️ The free outdoor bath located along the river in Gero is a rather famous tourist attraction. I was interested in it, but ended up not trying it out. The whole afternoon it was busy with a male only crowd of raucous and apparently drunk people. Even going near felt uncomfortable. If you are a guy, you might enjoy this location. ♨️ 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗚𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝗢𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗻, a rare outdoor bath only hot spring. The lady's side is quite small, but I was extremely lucky to have the whole place to myself for almost an hour. And that meant being able to shed the quiet and polite demeanour one is expected to maintain while visiting an onsen, and play around as much as I wanted, splashing here and there and attempting to swim (which I discovered is not actually possible in hot spring water). 💸 Pick up a discount ticket at the information booth in front of the station. ⛩️🍁 𝗢𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗶 is Gero's most important shrine. A nightly illumination of their hundred maple trees takes place in November. You'll have to climb a gazillion steps to get there, though. ⛩️ Sarubobo Shrine, dedicated to the colorful local mascottes. Pray for wealth, health, etc. 🍜 Hida beef udon 🥩 Hobamisoyaki. Hida beef slathered in miso sauce and grilled over a magnolia leaf

Gero, Gifu, Japan

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