Juniko lakes (twelve lakes) are our destination for the day but when we arrive we are not impressed. So underwhelmed, in fact, that we circle the car park and leave.
Lunchtime finds us at Futatsui on route 7. This is a re-new michi-no-eki, open only about three weeks at this point. It is a very large affair, masses of parking and a good deal of open space around. The building itself is rather grand with a high timber roof of intricate rafters.
The restaurant serves the usual suspects but is reasonably priced. The Yoneshirogawa (Yoneshiro River) flows behind it and there is a flight of broad steps down to the water. A good spot for shachuhaku but no shade.
After running down the coast, we head inland towards Lake Tazawa. Circling the lake, we find there are very few places where access to the water is possible and nowhere to walk. Those points where you can get near the water are taken over by boat trips and canoe hire.
Leaving Lake Tazawa we stop for the night at Shizukuishi Anekko on route 46. This is a large road station with an onsen. The onsen is ok. The outside bath is small and has no view and like many other places in this area in summer is plagued with horse flies. Abu in Japanese. These make the outside bath intolerable and even inside they are a nuisance.
All in all not a great day.
＊Shizukuishi Anekko Hasjiba onsen ; 520 yen/person (Alkaline simple hot spring)
＊michi-no-eki Shizukuishi Anekko ; elevation 290m.
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.