Kiso Valley

We huffed up a steep path pulling our heavy luggage behind us and pushing a sleeping toddler in front of us, the late afternoon sun felt unseasonably warm as sweat beaded our faces.  As the town fell away below us, the path showed no signs of leveling out, and we were relieved to finally arrive …

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Shirahone Hot Springs

Our first onsen stop was Shirahone. Shirahone literally translates to "white bone" because the hot springs in this area are so saturated with minerals that they appear milky white. Mid-November is a quiet time for the Japanese Alps when many popular mountain passes like Kamikochi are closing down for the winter and the ski season …

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