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Southern Hanamaki: Shidotaira

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.
As I have mentioned in a previous post about 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
I had chosen a western-style room this time around because it's more comfortable for me.   I love the futon too, but after a few days it gets old on me.    Always love the comforts of home.  

Outdoor Bath
The natural aromas from the steam that sprang forth from this rock main was absolutely perfect.   The temps that day was about minus 5 C.  The water gushed out at around 40C.

This is another onsen sommelier certified spa.   Great water and views.

There is nothing like good accommodation.   I met so many new faces at this hotel, along with the excellent staff and friendly reception.   Hanamaki is still the way I had left it.  

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