Ryokan -2-

Posted October 2nd, 2009 in Japan No Comments »

It was a drizzling day in Osaka. It sure wasn’t like summer anymore. We took a domestic flight from Osaka to Fukuoka, the biggest city in Kyushu island. The plane was kinda small, but packed with people. It took 1.5 hours to get to the destination. After we arrived in Fukuoka airport, we took a highway bus to Yufuin city – where the ryokan is -. It took around 2 hours.

I know, it was a long trip. We had to catch a plane and a bus to just get to this hotel, but this Yufuin city is very famous for its natural hot spring and I’ve been always wanted to go there. This long-distance-trip is not a thing we can do anytime, and I didn’t know whether I’ll ever have a chance going there if I miss this opportunity. That’s why I decided to use this “special occasion” to go to this Onsen city.

By the way, transport fee is very expensive in Japan. Before flying to Japan I searched on internet if there’re any good deals or sale fares in Japanese air companies (ANA or JAL), bus companies and shinkansen (bullet train). I compared prices and found a cheapest way to go to Yufuin from Osaka. On the way we took a plane and bus, and on the way back we took bus and shinkansen. Transport companies sometimes do limited-time-only campaigns and sale fares, so if you are thinking traveling around Japan I recommend you to browse their sites in advance. I booked our tickets and paid few months before this trip and I could save more than AUD$300.00.

Kyushu island consists of 7 prefectures, and Yufuin city is in Oita pref: top right on the map. Around this area there’re lots of sources of hot springs, therefore there’re many ryokans featuring natural hot springs. Unfortunately we could only stay in Yufuin for 2 nights because of our schedule.

As soon as we arrived the ryokan, we were SPEECHLESS. This ryokan is located in the middle of mountains.. lots of trees, rivers and very quiet as if it was an another world. SO BEAUTIFUL. And, we’re very surprised by staffs – super polite yet kind and friendly. They bowed every time they saw us and treat us like a king and a queen! :p This is Japan.

It took about 5 mins from lobby to our room. We crossed a bridge, passed many stirs… and here it was. At a glance, our room looked like a traditional Japanese house. We opened the sliding door with a key, then took off our shoes and went inside. There are 2 rooms- living room and sleeping room- and the floor was of course tataki-matted. There is a beautiful garden and one private open air onsen. (roten-buro) Yet the toilet was modern. :p

Staff brought us freshly made maccha green tea and Japanese tea snack. It was already 5pm so we could listen to Autumn insects singing… As our dinner booking time was 6:30pm, we took bath in roten-buro in the garden. The air was cool and it was so relaxing. After that we changed to yukata and lay down on wooden floor on engawa until dinner time…

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