After that extravagant lunch at Akemi's restaurant I headed back to Choushi Station to catch the Dentetsu, a small one car local private train, which has been popularized in various travel magazines with its beautiful decor and old country feel. It was a lovely experience riding on a train this small and being able to enjoy a full 360 degree view from all the windows of beautiful country fields as the train snaked around rails covered in flowers and mangled brier patches.
I got off at Inubo Station - nice name and catchy, too. I was immediately greeted by throngs of lovely country Jukujo who were fawning all over me. There were three by the door who greeted me without hesitation and welcomed me with bright eyes and full smiles. They were beautiful, all of them, with heads full of thick, smooth, black and shiny hair - full bounce. They had flawless make-up and sturdy bodies just the way I like them- hulking bovine beauties. For a moment there I thought I had stepped into another world, or transcended another realm of sorts, don't know....But, for sure, I was in heaven that day.
During the whole trip I wore seta( zori ) sandals, or flip flops. ( geta are hard sandals and seta are soft) It felt good not wearing any socks this whole trip, just walking in these seta's made my feet feel so wonderful and cool. I had to walk about 1km to the Keisei Hotel which is famous for having an excellent seaside view from the bath, plus it was available for day-use .
At about this time I had wondered whether or not they would have any accommodation left from a possible cancellation, since my original intent was only to bathe there, not stay, and then head back to the not so popular hotel in Choushi which sadly had no real onsen at all.
Before leaving Yokohama I always book a hotel in advance just in case the unexpected happens. Since I had originally booked the not so popular hotel around Choushi Station, I had made up my mind to stay with them for the night, but because of the bad reviews I kept hearing from the locals in the area I had to at least try and see if the Keisei Hotel had any availability for the night - Sunday Night! Same day booking for rooms is rare, especially on weekends.
From the front entrance the hotel was nice. The lobby was impeccable and clean and the staff was welcoming. As I approached the front desk the female front desk staff was ushered into the back office by another gentleman, and then shortly after ,a sixty year old Japanese man emerged from the back office to help me. Sixty year old Japanese men never smile, they just grin and nod their heads. At any rate, he greets me. I return the greet and ask if I could use the day-use onsen. No problem, he said. I handed him the coupon that Akemi gave me which was 20% off the regular day-use rate. As soon as he accepted this coupon I asked if there were any rooms available, and that if so, I would like to know how much (this whole conversation was in Japanese). He said yes and that he could offer me a room with two meals for 13000 yen( I was traveling alone which is extremely rare even for Japanese, unless of course they are on business. Most hotels do not offer accommodations to single travelers, and the ones that do charge almost double the price even for single occupancy).
Since I had arrived at noon he couldn't check me in until 3pm, so he gave me a voucher to take down to the bath to give to the attendant who in return gave me a hand and face towel. I was to bathe hear and relax until check-in time - who was I to complain, this was just a fantastic experience. The onsen was so hot and good I could've died right there in the water - perfect temperature and since it was by the beach the salt and calcium content in the water was high, plus it was 100% onsen with no chlorine or chemicals added. Sitting there in the onsen, overlooking the huge expanse of sea and tide, I had to deal with the guilt of canceling on the other hotel in Choushi.
It's very rude to cancel on the same day, and it's even ruder to not call to inform the hotel of your cancellation either. I had to seriously consider these feelings while relaxing in this onsen, but after checking into my room and downing a few more beers I quickly forgot the name of the hotel in Choushi.
I finished up at around a quarter til and went out and sat in the lobby waiting to see if they could check me in early. They did and they escorted me to my room, and all the while I was wondering what kind of room they were going to stick me in; a closet maybe? Or some run down room?
When we reached the room the door flung open and angels began singing " Haaaallelujah, Hallelujah, hallelujah, HHhaaaallujah!" I was captivated by this huge room with a full view of the ocean. Flat screen T.V., fully stocked fridge, two beds with remote operated inclines. I could elevate my head or body, even my legs. I elevated my my upper body so that it would be easier for me to drink nihonshu. I also elevated my legs in ordered to keep the sake centralized in middle part of my body.
The room was fantastic and far better than what I could have ever expected with no previous booking. Even the yukata fit perfectly. I jumped into the bed to test out the reclining mechanism, flicked on the T.V. via the remote, then dozed off for a few hours, woke up and then it was dinner time. When I got down to the dining hall there was a nice little table by the window for me overlooking the waterfront against a dimly sunlit evening sky, and boy, what a spread they had for me, too. Bonito cocktail salad marinated in ponzu, baked Foie gras over broiled salmon, a clam and vegetable soup, one tokkuri of sake, and the menu went on and on. That was a miraculous dinner! Just the meal alone could've easily cost 13000 yen by itself.
clam soup covered in seasonal vegetables
Salmon and foie gras
seasonal vegetable soup( very good)
Baked chicken in miso paste with chestnuts
I honestly forgot the name of this dessert.
The meal was very satisfying and very good.
After finishing up there I headed back to my room and cracked open a bottle of local jizake from the mini- fridge. Sat back and enjoyed the rest of the sunset then crashed again, woke up and headed down to the bath for another hour, went back to the room drank down another bottle of sake, checked-some email, walked around the hotel, crashed again, got up and did another onsen round, crashed again, got up one last time at 2a.m. did an onsen photo shoot, bathed and reflected on the whole trip, returned to my room and crashed. Woke up at 7a.m. had a fantastic power breakfast and then checked-out at around 9a.m., and the reason being is because I had to head over to the fish auction down in Choushi! By the way, the onsen was open 24hrs!
And I can’t forget breakfast