If you would like to achieve ultimate enjoyment of Japanese sake on your trip to Fukushima, you should give thought to place and occasion. We particularly recommend a stay at a hot spring inn as creating the ideal conditions. Ranked 4th in Japan as an onsen (hot spring) destination, Fukushima Prefecture offers a wide array of hot spring choices. Many of the hot spring inns offer a variety of famed local sake. The most yearned for luxury in Japan has always been the act of sipping your sake while enjoying seasonal cuisine and the beautiful vistas from your room’s window after relaxing in the hot baths.
But what exactly is the best way to enjoy your sake at a hot spring inn?
The first most essential rule is to dine on local cuisine as you drink your sake. Fukushima particularly offers abundant choices of both seafood and mountain delicacies. The wild vegetables and fowl from the mountains, and various types of seafood from the shores, will be prepared in the specific manner that is the pride of each individual inn. The delicious cuisine will further accent the taste of the sake, so it is highly recommended that you take them together.
Next, you should give some thought to the room. Rooms at hot spring inns feature tatami bamboo mats, low tables, and cushions for seating on the floor, which is the traditional style of the Japanese living room. In their rooms, visitors relax after changing into the provided yukata (a form of kimono). You can drink and eat whenever you wish, so you can relax with your sake after enjoying the hot baths or after eating dinner. You can purchase your sake and snacks at the shops provided in each inn. Don’t worry if you grow tipsy and sleepy from drinking, because you can simply roll over onto one of the provided futon mattresses and rest. Enjoy a private moment with family or friends to your heart’s content.
Hot spring resorts are often located away from town centers and are thus very quiet. You can typically enjoy lovely views from your room window. Another way to relax is to sip your sake as you enjoy the varying expressions of nature as time passes and the seasons change.
Some inns even provide a special service where you can drink sake in the hot baths themselves. There is no question that sipping sake while breathing the fresh air and immersed in a hot outdoor bath will warm your body to the core. However, you will likely grow tipsy faster in the bath, so be careful to drink in moderation.
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Traditionally, hot spring resorts have been considered a place to treat illness and injury, in addition to being tourist destinations. This is because it is believed that the constituents contained in the hot spring water can alleviate imbalances in the body. Further, it is also believed that relaxing in the hot spring can have a positive effect on beauty, which is the reason hot springs are very popular among women in particular.
At the same time, it is said in Japan that sake is the king of medicines. Drinking a moderate amount of sake will alleviate stress, increase the appetite, and is said to lead to a longer lifespan. Thus you should be aware that drinking sake in a hot spring has the happy effect of possibly making your body healthy as well.
Hot spring resorts are regions which people have preserved and maintained for many generations. These regions feature many historical buildings and sites, and you may even discover something not found in the guidebooks when you go on walks there. Many inns also provide free events for guests, such as mochi rice cake making or performances featuring the shamisen, a Japanese traditional stringed instrument. These are an opportunity to experience aspects of Japanese culture that one doesn’t get to see on a daily basis, so participation is highly recommended.
Why not make your trip to Fukushima memorable through the deep enjoyment of both Japanese culture and sake at a hot spring inn?