I decided to go on a trip to an area with onsens in order to heal myself because I’m tired from going to school and my part-time job every day. Everyday, the me who had come into a monotonous living of just my dormitory, school, and part time was existing quite far from nature. I separated from that self who had a busy daily life, wishing for unexpected circumstances and thinking that I want to deeply savor the traditional culture of Japan. And so on February 15, the day after Valentine’s, I went on a trip to Takeo in Saga Prefecture, which is famous for being an onsen spot.
Takeo is located in the western part of Saga Prefecture, between Saga and the city of Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture. In the heart of the city is Takeo Onsen, an area that has been operating for 1300 years since and has been visited by around 400,000 people in that period. A famous architect from the Taisho and Meiji eras named Tatsuno Kingo designed the Ryuuguu, a roumon (two-storied tower gate) that is the symbol of the Takeo Onsen area. It has also been designated as a national cultural property of Japan. The area is located near Takeo Onsen Station, so going on foot from the station would take about roughly 10 minutes.
There are great numbers of hotels and Japanese inns lined up along the street. In front of these hotels and inns stand ladies wearing traditional Japanese clothes, trying to lure tourists, making a beautiful sightseeing scenery stand out.
Inside the Takeo Onsen area is another designated cultural property, the Takeo Onsen Shinkan pottery experience workshop. Its exterior feels very fresh and clean, and the interior is also lovely. There’s a bright, open room on the second floor where handwritten calligraphy of famous Japanese celebrities and cultural persons are displayed. The window structure had a Chinese-like exotic atmosphere, making me feel a deep impression of my own hometown in China.