Friday, 18 December 2015

Hakone

Our private hot spring bath

Today's blog post will be a rather short one. It was mainly a transit day as we had to back track a little down the mountain from Takayama towards Nagoya. The train timetable meant that we had time to eat at Nagoya catching our shinkansen up north to Odawara. Malcolm says the food to eat at Nagoya is fried chicken so we ate tebasaki. I would have taken a photo except it was gone by the time I took my camera out! The second serve didn't last long either...

The light dusting of white from the first snow fall

Snack today...horse chestnut crackers

At Odawara, we had to stop to change trains and to purchase a Hakone free pass for our sightseeing and transport around Hakone for the next day. It was then onto Hakone-Yumoto. We were booked for our next ryokan stay at Yamanochaya in a Tsukimidai Ajisai room as a splurge. The rest of the day had been set aside for some rest and pampering before we tackle any further serious sightseeing.

Although the ryokan is not far from Hakone-Yumoto Station, the road towards the ryokan's driveway was a bit hairy! It was busy and so narrow that it barely fit one person on the shoulder of the road. As soon as we crossed the river, we saw men running down the driveway to greet us by our surname and taking our luggage off us. From there, it was a complete change of pace to pure luxury. Rahman, a rather spunky looking lad, was dedicated to look after us. He was concierge, guide, waiter, man Friday all rolled into one! He explained how everything worked and showed us around before bringing us to our room. Wow! Our room was beautiful with an amazing view. We had our own private open air bath pumped with water from the hot springs as well a moon watching balcony which was just jaw-dropping.

Yes! We survived the road!

The beautiful river that we crossed

Our living/sleeping room

View from our room

Gorgeous furnishings

Corridor in our room. The stairs at the end lead up to...

a dressing area which further leads out to...

The shower area of our private hot springs

The actual private hot springs

We also have our own private balcony

New ryokan, new yukatas!

We had time for a quick dip before our dinner was served at 6pm. The degustation meal of about 2 hours saw one phenomenal dish follow another. Rahman had booked the family to use one of the ryokan's outdoor onsen which was used for private bookings. He took us straight after dinner through the gardens. We couldn't believe our eyes when we got there. It literally was like out of a brochure. It was a shame that we were not able to take photos of it. There was a cozy dressing room area with a toilet. The room was equipped with all manner of toiletries imaginable. This led out to the shower area set amongst rocks which in turn led to the hot springs also set amongst rocks. It was lovely to be able to enjoy the onsen as a family.

I won't bore you with too many food photos but we all loved it!

One of many many courses. THE best tuna ever!


I can't take photos of the ryokan's public outdoor baths, but here are some brochure pictures of them! The one that is available for private booking is set among black rocks. Just phenomenal!

By the time we returned to our room, our futons were laid out and we watched...Jurassic Park from the DVD collection!

More on Hakone proper tomorrow!

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