I visited Yufu River Gorge (Yufugawa keikoku, 由布川渓谷), while staying at my in-law's house in Beppu. I took photos, but still images can't recreate the serenity I felt... Now, thanks to egawauemon's always great video, it all came back.
Can you believe it's only 30-40 minutes from Beppu station? It may remind you of the place where Totoro lives. Unlike Yufuin (too much tourism), it's not commercialized at all. They only sell locally grown vegetables and that's about it. No character goods. When we came back from long walk, nobody was there to watch veggies!
From where my daughter is standing in this photo, we took off our clothes, hid them behind rocks, and walked in swimsuits to see "Touch Stone." The water comes up to your waist in some points, and moss-covered rocks are really slippery, but there wasn't any mosquito or leech. Only fishes.
When we were about to leave, a warm humid wind blew through the valley. It gave me a very sinister feeling. It felt as if one huge invisible snake made out of nothing but heat came down to me.
[九州を旅する- WORLD CRUISE in KYUSHU via Paul Simon]