The day-use experience can be just as refreshing as an overnight stay at a Japanese onsen ryoukan, that’s if you plan it correctly, and plan it correctly I did, even with the slight misunderstanding we had at the counter at the Yuzo Senjyaku No Yu Hotel.
I had a free day, Wed, to do whatever I wanted to do, so doing what I do best – onsen, sake, Jukujo – I headed to one of my old favorites with one of my old favorites to Hakone via the Tokaido Line – I don’t see why anybody coming from Yokohama would pay a few thousand yen more just to have a window seat, and for such a short ride in my opinion – from Tokyo okay.
Day-use onsen is great for the traveler who has limited time and budget. In my case, I had plenty of both, but Maza had time constraints and needed to be back on the same day, so I gave up travelling solo today – I was planning on heading up to Niigata. Instead I booked a special guest room for five hours with a lunch and onsen for a little under 5000 yen all together for the both of us at this hotel.
For starters, the hotel was clean upon entering the main complex. You pay up front for everything plus lunch which we had to choose from this long menu list. There were about ten different entrees at different prices ranging from 780 yen to 6000 yen. After you pay, the front hands you your key and you are escorted up to your special guest room.
Our room was very nice – no futon and no toilet – just a special guest room for day – use only. The sliding door was equipped with a lock, so privacy wasn’t an issue. We had this very large room all to ourselves. I made sure to bring along my own sake and snacks, plus I was already slightly drunk from a the beer breakfast I had on the way to the station.
Lunch was to be served 30 minutes after check-in and we were hungry, so we snacked off of ume-chips and nigori sake until our meals came. For those of you who may not already know, it is rumored that Hakone is famous for delicious soba. I totally agree. I enjoyed a nice soba with sake and tempura. Maza had a nice fish set with yuba and some pickles. The soba was long and firm with a nice texture. The tempura was nice also and worked perfectly with the sake we were drinking.
( Taken with my iphone)
And after we finished up our meals we took a quick power nap for twenty minutes , woke up, sang some songs together and headed down to the bath. I have mentioned before in a previous post that I look for the registered onsen sign whenever I am searching for an onsen online. This hotel had it, and the water was great! Perfect temperature and clean, and most of all, not crowded. The outdoor bath was very comfortable to sit in. One could easily recline or sit up very comfortably.
300 meters deep is where this water springs from
This whole afternoon went very well. We had about two 30 minute onsen sessions each. We had time to nap again, eat more snacks, look goo-goo eyed at each other incessantly.
Getting here is easy. From Hakone Yumuto Station it’s a ten minute walk up a gentle slope passed several manjyuu shops on your right hand side. Keep walking and you’ll see it off to your right. Make sure you clarify exactly what you want and what you are paying for. All-in-All, it was fantastic and do plan to return very soon.