(subject was on the back of someone's jacket)
Up north in the mountains, a river meanders down toward a small town built on its very edge. From the hills, boiling spring water flows in to the river. The town is there is to catch that interaction and make money from it. There are various foot baths in the city and there's an outdoor full natural bath at the river's shore. But if you don't want to be seen in your birthday suit, there are a range of hot springs where you can enjoy a pleasant bath, a traditional Japanese meal, and a wonderful night's stay. Other activities include fishing or shopping in the small craft stores and galleries. This place is called Yubara.
When I tell people I went to Yubara, they ask how the hot springs were.
What I say to my students is that they were great! It's a bit of a white lie, though. Actually, I didn't step one foot in a spring. There were other things on my mind when I went there. Namely, giant salamanders.
I'm not really sure if this all started when a student of mine was researching salamanders and needed to know English so she could go study in Borneo in hopes of discovering a new type of salamander. I think she was the person who first told me about these Giant Salamanders.
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