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Osenkaku Minakami Reviews
The best hot spring experience in Japan Mar 12, 2008
Ever since reading Fio's review about this place I have been intrigued. It looked so beautiful. Now that I have been there, I am not disappointed! Definitely the best way to enjoy a hot springs bath in Japan. We got lucky and they had snow on the ground, which really added to the atmosphere. The hotel has Japanese style rooms, so although it says it's an ryokan, it's still a hotel, but the rooms are in Japanese style, and we were served dinner in the room. Breakfast was in a common restaurant. Both were excellent!
The hot spring baths are open 24 hours a day, and you are provided with Japanese robes when checked in, from then on you are free to roam around in the robes! We had a room with separate toilet and baths, but not all rooms do, be sure to specify what you want when you make your reservations. We made our reservations through japaneseguesthouses.com and it worked just fine.
Getting to the hot springs at Minakami from Tokyo required changing trains but it's not that difficult. Their web site gave directions on what to do.
I recommend staying 2 nights to fully enjoy the place with no rush. I had been to other hot springs but none in such a beautiful natural setting. The baths are also BIG so it's not crowded, but maybe we also went on a weekday and perhaps not their busiest season.
I think this is the ultimate Japanese hot spring baths experience, except we didn't have any monkeys joining us in the bath! It's not cheap but they do have several levels of lodging prices. In any case, the outdoor spas are the same!
If you are interested in the Japanese hot spring bath experience, you can not do any better than this! I did not give a 5 rating for the bed because you sleep on the tatami floor, it's fine, but may not be for everyone. Also there is no internet connection, you are supposed to relax there!
Part of the Japan and Taiwan 2008 + 4 travbuddies travel blog
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