Staying at a hot spring ryokan in the mountains

This ryokan is a favourite among our guests because it offers an authentic Japanese hot spring experience in the heart of the mountains, with attentive service and delicious food, yet with more privacy than can be found at smaller ryokan.

From central Itoigawa, you will drive along the Himekawa river valley, between the mountains of the Japan Alps, until you reach the hot spring resort in the mountains. The ryokan is on the edge of the village, in a secluded spot overlooking the river. You will be welcomed with Japanese tea and sweets in the lounge, the tables of which are made of slabs of Itoigawa jade!

Tea at Hotel Kunitomi
Enjoy a cup of Japanese tea and a traditional sweet!

And if you like, you can also try grilled delicacies cooked over the open hearth, or irori.

The irori is the heart of every Japanese farmhouse
The irori is the heart of every Japanese farmhouse

And now for the highlight of the stay: the hot spring! First, you will be asked to choose a cotton yukata of the right size. People visiting hot spring resorts commonly wear yukata around their accommodation, to meals, and even when strolling down the street! However, the one thing you must NOT do is put the right-hand edge of the yukata over the top of the left-hand edge: the left-hand edge of the yukata always goes on top, for both men and women.

Cotton yukata are usually worn within the hotel
Cotton yukata are usually worn within the hotel

Once you have your yukata, it’s time to head to the bath!

Don't worry if you can't read the signs - red curtains for the women's bath and blue curtains for the men's bath are pretty standard across Japan
Don’t worry if you can’t read the signs – red curtains for the women’s bath and blue curtains for the men’s bath are pretty standard across Japan

There are both indoor and outdoor baths here. Soap, shampoo, and other toiletries are provided in the washing area of the indoor bath, which you use before entering the bath itself. You can use either the showers along the walls or the natural spring water which flows into a wooden trough in the bathroom, but make sure to wash off all the soap before getting into the bath.

The outdoor bath is surrounded by rocks, and has a view of the mountains
The outdoor bath is surrounded by rocks, and has a view of the mountains

The ryokan also has three private baths (wood, stone, and ceramic) which you can book for a truly memorable experience.

The corridor to the private baths, which are detached from the main building for even greater privacy
The corridor to the private baths, which are detached from the main building for even greater privacy

After a relaxing bath, you can enjoy delicious local seafood for dinner, perhaps accompanied by some of Itoigawa’s famous sake…

There are hollow spaces below the tables, so you can sit comfortably!
There are hollow spaces below the tables, so you can sit comfortably!
Some of Itoigawa's local sake brands
Some of Itoigawa’s local sake brands

After all this, you’re sure to sleep well!

There are seasonal flower arrangements throughout the ryokan
There are seasonal flower arrangements throughout the ryokan
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s