Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kinugawa Onsen

One of my favorite things to do is soak in hot water. I have vacationed at Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia several times. I have soaked in hot springs in the Rio Grande River gorge near Taos, New Mexico. It is wonderful.

In Japan there are the onsens. I plan on visiting several. Recently my wife, my mother-in-law and I went to Kinugawa Onsen. We stayed in the Kinugawa Plaza Hotel and ate this fabulous meal.

The hotel has separate baths for men and women. In each of these there are rotenburo (outside) onsen. The men's rotenburo was pretty open while the women's was more screened off from view. One of my favorite things is to soak in the hot water and then get out in the cold winter air. While I was soaking in the rotenburo at 4:00AM it was snowing. A pure delight.

The evening meal and breakfast were included in the price. The evening meal was brought to our room and everything laid out (as seen in the about linked photo) and explained to us. For breakfast there was a choice of Japanese style or a western style buffet. We chose the buffet, which was good, but think that maybe the Japanese breakfast would have been better.

When you get to your room, yukata are provided. These are very comfortable, as comfortable as pajamas or more so, and can be worn anywhere in, or outside of, the hotel. We saw people outside in their yukata who had obviously just been in the onsen. They had to get an extra large one for me. Even though I am not particularly overweight, I am an American sized American.

A picture of the river near our hotel;

A few links;

Japanese Guest Houses - Kinugawa Onsen

Welcome Site

Kinugawa Onsen Travel Guide