After our day-trip in Kyoto where we did endless walking and sightseeing, our next adventure is trying the onsen in Hakone. I’m the mastermind behind this onsen trip naturally because I’ve seen it in anime shows and it looks so relaxing. The closest onsen I’ve been was back when we stayed in a skii resort in Niseko and the house has a onsen-like bathroom. But that time you can control the hot water while in Niseko the hot water is already all prepared and you just have to jump in (though I will caution you against that, more on that later).
From Tokyo to Hakone, we had to take the Shinkansen (“Kodama”) to Odawara as there is no direct train ride from Tokyo to Hakone-Yumuto station. Then from Odawara station take a train to Hakone-Yumuto station around 15 minutes ride. It was a gloomy day and we were quite disappointed not being able to get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji due to the rain and clouds. 🙁 Hakone Yuryo is very near Hakone-Yumoto Station and there’s actually sort of like a waiting shed outside the station to wait for the Yuryo shuttle ride to and from to the onsen. There’s a lot of onsens in Hakone but we chose Yuryo due to the shuttle ride and reviews of the private hot spring. I booked one private open-air hot spring (“Hanare Yuya Kaden”) Type 1 – Sumire, which can accommodate 1-2 people for 1 hour. That’s 4,000yen and additional 1,950yen/ 30 minutes extension. You need to email them around 1 month in advanced for the reservation. The onsen opens at 10 so that’s the earliest time you can book.
When we got to Hakone Yuryo, I had to adjust my reservation to include my brother – another Type 1 for him. The receptionist gave us a small bag each with towels, keys to the private onsens and off we went to bath!
They also have a hair dryer, a basin to wash your face and some complimentary skin care products from Shu Uemura. It looks very much like a scene from a romantic anime episode.
The bath was already all filled up and ready. It got me thinking if they replace the water after each customer but maybe that’s not the case?? The temperature is super duper hot so no jumping in at once. I was torn between super cold (it was open air) and super hot (my feet are being fried) as I slowly lowered myself in the water. You have to let your body adjust to the heat because it really feels like you are being cooked at first. This is the hottest ever bath I’ve ever taken. After my body adjusted to the heat, I was finally able to relax and savor the moment – I’m in an onsen!! I really love bathing and my dream is to have a bathtub at home where I can fill up with scented bubble baths and oils (luxuryyyy). I felt my muscles relax and all the tension from my body faded away – it felt like I had an hour long massage. My mom also loved the experience and afterwards I was teasing her that she got her energy back in order to shop some more.
After that wonderful bath, it was still pouring outside, so we checked out the restaurant of Yuryo – The Irorisaryo Hachiri. Irori cuisine means hearth-cooked and is a traditional way to cook Japanese food. Probably the least favorite of our food trips while in Japan mostly because the serving is very few for the price.
Check out the rest of my Japan travel diaries:
My last entry will be our short trip to the fish market Tsukiji. Stay tuned!