It does rain a lot in Japan! After waiting for a couple of hours at the Ryokan lobby, and checking the weather forecasts, we established that it was not going to get better, so we decided to leave the comfort of the hotel and get on the road to Fukaura.
We cycled past signs saying 'Welcome to Fukaura' but it was much smaller than we'd expected and no signs (in English) for an Onsen or Ryokan, and by the third small village with welcome to Fukaura signs we realised this was more a welcome to Nottinghamshire than Nottingham and we were still in Lowdham! We stopped at some Japanese signs of what turned out to be an old people's home. Soaking wet and sitting in pools of water in their entrance lobby, they gave us a hot coffee to warm up and provided directions to the hotel, and then made a phone call for us to check they could accommodate us. How lovely!
The hotel is an Onsen by the sea, where you can bathe in orange hot and salted medicinal water. Mix bathing is aloud, so I went in, following the Onsen protocols naked, I must have been using the incorrect protocol as a man came and gave me a towel to cover my modesty .
After a super hot bath, both now with pink feet, we had a 16 course meal, including an abalone that was still eating the side vegetables in its bowl until it was poached in sake. What a way to die...
Music was provided in the reception by a traditional Japanese musician playing a long guitar-style instrument which plinked and dinked to all the local guests enjoyment, many who sang along. A little beyond our musical appreciation, but clearly a skilled artist.