I took photos... of course. I couldn't put my heavy pack down because of the mud, and the monkeys, and the other tourists. The Japanese are scrupulously honest - others no so much.
So for hours I had my pack on my back and 2 big heavy cameras around my neck. And then it was 1.6 km back down the track and then another 50 minute walk down to the village.
I really need a long soak in the onsen but will hang out until after dinner.
This is a traditional Japanese ryokan (more so than the earlier ones) with futons and rice paper screens, creaky floors and very thin walls. You can just about hear people breathing next door so I'm glad this is only one night. It's meant to snow tomorrow but I cant face that hike again or having to travel back to Tokyo, 3+ hours in wet gear.
I guess our run of great luck had to end at sometime, c'est la vie.
The village is very cute so we’ll probably just look around here and may go back to Tokyo a bit earlier than expected. As we were checking in, the proprietor brought us tea, thinking it was green tea I added some sugar (yes, I can hear you wincing). It was disgusting and turned out to be seaweed tea - yuk.
There is only 1 western restaurant in this village so we wandered down there for some dinner and it turned out to be fantastic. Great hot chocolate. Surprisingly the Japanese don't 'do' hot chocolate so it's usually hard to find. Our hotel is in this narrow little lane that has bags of character with small hotels and shops, restaurants and onsen all along it. There are 9 onsen in this one tiny street, and an onsen crawl is the thing to do after about 8pm. Everyone wears traditional yukata with a warm kimono style jacket and wooden clogs and you see groups of young people roaming between onsen. If you are staying in a hotel you get a key that allows you free entry to all the onsen. Great system. We spent a happy 90 minutes or so photographing the street. So we now feel somewhat better after a disappointing time at the monkeys.
I still haven't had a good soak so I'm off to do that now.