Andrea and David's trip to Japan, July 2011

Day 10: 26-7-11 Kawayu - (Day 9 - Day 11) - birdlist - bird gallery

Up at 3 am, we headed for Mark Brazil's forest walk. This was excellent and we didn't meet any bears. Interesting birds, deer and various unidentified weird noises from the forest. Especially one sequence sounded like monkeys, but there are none on Hokkaido??? Would you like to hear it? Click here (the wazoo whistle, not the obvious birdsong)! Another nice little videoclip: of a Narcissus Flycatcher

After breakfast, at 9 am, we visited the nature centre, played the weird noise to the bloke. He was just as puzzled as we were. We headed subsequently for the beautiful caldera lake Mashu. This is beautiful but the 15 km trip and 500m ascent on average quality hire-bikes was a challenge in the afternoon sun. We agreed that the trip was worthwhile though strenuous. Apart from the protestations of our brakes, we enjoyed shooting down the hairpins towards Kawayu (just visible as the pale blob on the right hand margin of the centre left photo.)

Top row: The caldera lake Mashu.

Middle row Left The volcano Iozan with its bare sulphurous patches. Lake Kussharo in the background and the spa town of Kawayu on the margin of the photo, from the caldera rim. Middle and right are pictures from the ascent. Flowering climbing hydrangeas in the forest. Many butterflies of many species including both yellow and black-blue swallowtails.

After a hot footbath in the public footbath fed by its own spring, we took our own tea ceremony and a siesta before dinner. Note the photosynthetic green sulphur bacteria. After dinner we entered the real onsen. A real skinny dip, in each our department. It was hot, very hot. Yet another cultural experience. We have now experienced two of the approx. 3000 onsens in Japan :-)