As the forecast for Nikko is still bad, we make for Kusatsu, via a coin laundry in Numata. On the road to Kusatsu, we make a side trip to visit Nozoriko or Lake Nozori. This proves to be further than anticipated and at the end of a long and winding road. It is steep and very narrow, which is fine, but we repeatedly meet dump trucks coming down as, we discover, there is a quarry half way up.
We reach a car park overlooking the lake, but high above it, and realize that there are various hiking routes around the lake and over nearby peaks. This is all very inviting but, too late in the day to take seriously.
On leaving Lake Nozori, we pass a wild piglet with crows all around it. Not a good prognosis.
We had stopped, earlier in the day, for lunch at michi-no-eki Agatsuma-kyo and viewed the gorge; steep and stark but mostly hidden by foliage.
Then another stop at michi-no-eki Yanba Furusato-kan. This overlooks a massive dam construction from a great height. Interesting in its way.
Reaching Kusatsu, we find the michi no eki is not a good shachuhaku prospect at all. The parking is far too close to the busy road and altogether too open. So, we head back to way we have come to michi-no-eki Agatsumakyo for the night.
Michi-no-eki Agatsumakyo is quite a new facility and has much to recommend it. First, it has an onsen. Second, a children’s play area (with toys provided). Third, a dog run. All this and lots of space.
It is a great shame that the toilet is terrible. It is far too small for the amount of traffic. In fact, it is far too small for reasonable people.
There is more space in the two handicapped toilets than for the entire male population. Absurd! On the plus, side the multi-purpose facility is very well equipped. One can only assume the architect was B. S. Johnson.
＊michi-no-eki Agatsumakyo elevation ; 480m
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.