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Landscape of Kurokawa Onsen -2

2016.02.25

Other thing I liked about Kurokawa Onsen was the fact that all signs in this town are written in white ink on the black colored board because they do not tire my eyes. In contrast to another hot spring town with artificial neon light or advertisement flags in harsh color, signs or even vending machines in this town are arranged in calm colors and in the position not disturbing.

Our hotel was also adorable. The approach to the building was so seamless that I did not have any feeling of ‘entering’ somewhere. There is no showy architecture manifesting ‘this is the great design.’ The garden is also beautiful for its serene aesthetic. The owner told me the former master of Nosiyu Ryokan – another hot spring hotel- was truly enthusiastic in garden design, having designed not only his garden, but also of others.

The garden of our hotel Ryokna Sanga is well designed by the former master of Nosiyu Ryokan with a stream irrigated from the river in the town. At first, I felt the rock arrangement is not something to expect in a professional’s garden. However, after hearing the hotel owner’s explanation; when professional gardener arranges rocks, he examines all the positions, angles, and the height of rocks very carefully. However there is no need for that perfection in this homely hotel surrounded by mountains. It is agreeable to admire the garden with some looseness from a cozy sofa in the hotel lobby. The humidity of Kurokawa Onsen has grown moths covering rocks, which spread toward the ground seamlessly, hiding the ‘design intention’ by the designer. The garden almost looks like going back to nature. This phenomenon might be one of the processes to mature landscape, I believe.

Thanks to the efforts of local business owners, Kurokawa Onsen become one of the famous tourist destinations. In addition, I think Mr.Tanaka, my guide of this time visit, and a landscape adviser in this town has great contribution to it. Everybody greet to him when we stroll around the town. We can learn from his dedication and efforts helping local tourist site to get this quality of landscape.

Yoshiki Toda

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