It was time to hit the road for a couple of days. Kazuyo and I had been working very hard from the spring time on our schools and doing all the things you gotta do when you run a company like englishbiz. We love our work. We love our students. The kids are great, and the families we can serve are really wonderful people.
But sometimes in the hectic pace of it all you need to get out of town, go for a nice drive, and wind up at a classic hot spring hotel. We found such a place at the Arima Road Yuuwa Hot Spring Hotel.
When you arrive at the hotel you will feel like you are slipping back in time. This is a very traditional, and well kept “Showa-era” hot spring hotel. The entrance, the front desk, the furniture around the hotel, the dining area will all make you feel like you are in a Japanese movie right out of the 1960s.
Here is a photo from the second floor looking into the front lobby.
When you arrive, the staff will inquire what time would you like to have dinner. They will give you some options. Choose a time that works for you. Once you are checked in head off to your room. You will get a key and told where your room is. After that, you are basically on your own. The hotel is a bit rustic, but that really adds to the charm and the experience of time slipping back to the 60’s.
So, get to your room and watch your head if you are over six feet tall. Drop your stuff and find the yukata (cotton robes) in the closet. You can see that this is a very traditional and very simply kept guest room with tatami mats for the floor. Leave your slippers at the tiny entrance area and step up. Again, watch your head!
Get changed and then make your way to the hot baths. This’ll be great.
First make sure that you go to the correct bath. They are separate for women and men, so while you want to make a splash, you might want to make sure you are making one that will not cause screaming to start.
Get naked and head on into the baths. Here is a little guide that was posted in multi-languages to help you get sorted how to use the facilities.
I thought the guide was quite cute. You may see minor infractions of the guidelines with other visitors, but the main this is that you wash up first before you get in the baths. Make sure you got all the shampoo and soap off your body. If this is your first visit to an onsen and you feel a little body conscious, try not to worry about it. The truth is, in Japan things are much more relaxed and “easy going” about being naked in the baths. Just try to relax, enjoy the warmth and gentle sounds of the onsen. You’ll be hooked in no time and discover this truly marvellous way to relax, release stress, and be more “in the moment”.
After a relaxing time in the bath, put your yukata back on and head for dinner. Here is what we had with the kids:
We are having “shabu-shabu”. It’s a thinly sliced meat that you cook briefly in a broth boiling in front of you. Add vegetables. Dip things you take from the soup in the sauces provided. Excellent with beer!!
This was breakfast the next morning. It’s a very Japanese breakfast, so sometimes a Western traveler is not so keen on it. But the salad, soup, and tea are all things that your body will recognize. We could also get bread too. So, there should be something to get your day going.
We thought that the hotel was very charming, clean, and a good experience to relax and soak in “traditional Japan”. But don’t just take my word for it. Trip Advisor has some reviews as well. So check those out. They are written in Japanese but the website has a translation button so you can see with your own eyes. Access there seems a little hard to get to, but the truth is that you can easily get there by taxi from the city within about 15-20 minutes without any trouble.
And here are the coordinates for you to click on. Just hit this, and show the driver where you want them to take you!