You can often see Japanese traditional inns, known as “ryokan”, in towns which have hot springs.
Most of these inns have rooms with beautiful tatami mats and futons, accompanied by beautiful views of mountains, forests or a calm and relaxing hot spring town across a river. What’s more, these inns often house restaurants that serve delicious Japanese cuisine. Their chefs provide fresh, delicious and outstanding dishes, made using seasonal local ingredients.
The rooms in ryokan hotels often have their own names. Each ryokan is quite unique, and may have some aspects that make your stay there unforgettable. In fact, each room can be an attraction by itself! Once you stay in one of these rooms, you may feel like spend the whole time in your room without ever leaving! We strongly recommend that you endeavor to experience this small part of Japanese culture.
Yanaizu Onsen Seiryunoyado Kawachi
Yanaizu Onsen is not a flashy onsen town, but it is known as an onsen village with its rich hot spring water. You can take your time to relax in the nature of mountains. The inside of the inn, Seiryunoyado Kawaechi, is bright and clean, and a friendly landlady will welcome you at the entrance.
Also, the inn lies alongside the Tadamigawa river, and you can enjoy the sunset over the mountains in the evening. The river, and the beautiful nature around it, changes appearance according to the season. By the inn, there is a historical cafe that serves awamanju, a local speciality, and a temple called Fukuman Kokuzouson, which has been standing for more than twelve hundred years! This is an idyllic place for a relaxing walk down a mountain valley after you enjoy a hot spring bath.
Higashiyama Onsen Harataki
The historical hot spa resort Higashiyama Onsen, which was founded about thirteen hundred years ago, is located about ten minutes away from Aizuwakamatsu city. Ryokan Harataki, a hotel located next to a pleasant river, amazes people with its riverside balcony and outdoor bath. The balcony is called Kawadoko, and has a foot bath that you can enjoy while taking in the wondrous nature all around you. Just outside the lobby, there is a small, beautiful ravine that you can see through a huge window. The beautiful nature of Aizu invigorates you, with its fresh green leaves in spring, rich dark green forests in summer, red autumn leaves in fall, and snowy landscapes in winter. Regarding food, there is a popular charbroiled dish in this area called sumibiyaki. It is a local delicacy that, when you eat it, you will feel the warmth and hospitality that this place has to offer. An advantage of this ryokan hotel are the English-speaking staff members who are on hand to help put you at ease and enjoy your Japanese ryokan experience.
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Experiencing hot springs and ryokan hotels in Fukushima is a quintessential experience that you do not want to miss on a trip to Japan. It may change some misconceptions or impressions that you previously had of Japanese culture. Please enjoy our way of life, food, hospitality, style and, of course, hot springs while you stay in Japan.
Since Japan has four beautifully distinct seasons, seasonal food is one of the attractions of Japanese ryokan hotels. At this time of year, you will be able to enjoy meals decorated with colorful ingredients and leaves, with colors such as red, green, orange and yellow.