Hanamaki was my first love. That small rural town in Iwate Prefecture. This last trip to Hanamaki only reaffirmed my love for this town. Gentle flowing rivers; snow clad shrubs and trees all around.
Morioka, the capital of Iwate, that the true soul of Japan lie in Iwate's backcountry. All of Tohoku, actually.
On my second night, I stayed at a hotel called the Shidotaira, a huge full on four star luxury onsen hotel. Impressive. I've never been a person big on super deluxe accommodation, but this hotel had me reconsidering my position. Some onsen purest are put off by large modern super hotels, thinking that they take away from the intimacy of a true rustic ryokan experience. The Shidotaira is huge and feels more like a resort than a hotel. Luckily, my room was near the spa and cafeteria areas. The hospitality was warm as always and I didn't want for anything.
|Shot from my room|
This is another onsen sommelier certified spa. Great water and views.