The train came to the end of the track. I guess that was our stop. We had arrived in Arima Onsen with no plans or reservations, just wanting to eat good food and relax in the Kobe suburb’s famous hot springs. Despite not having any idea what we were doing it turned out to be the smoothest traveling of the entire trip.
We walked into the closest hotel… and it was perfect. We slid back bamboo and paper-screen doors and fell into our fluffy futon beds. A pot of hot green tea sat waiting on the black table six inches off of the floor.
Dinner fell into our laps just as easily. The only restaurant still open was a little bar that could barely squeeze ten people. Two couples filled the only two tables and the bar seats had diners. After seeing our disappointed faces three of them prematurely left just out of courtesy… incredible.
Everything was written in characters. The cook stood right behind the bar. No one understood us. The only thing we could do was point to the vegetables and noodles prepped on the chef’s counter and smile. He whipped us up four amazingly bizarre combos of noodles… parmesan and roe, scallions and garlic etc etc.
This sure isn’t jersey because… the hot springs were on the sixth floor with no bathing suits allowed.