Friday, 26 June 2009

A Dip In An Onsen?

I am currently cutting back my time reading blogs and EC dropping and spending more time browsing and looking up travel information on Japan with Zaini. Although we have yet to confirm whether we can actually go for our vacation in late Nov/early Dec, there's no harm planning. Planning for our vacation and poring over train schedules and maps is always a fun activity for us.

Anyway, if we can't go through with this vacation plan, our backup plan is to head to Thailand for a more affordable vacation.

At the moment, we are looking at several options for a night in a ryokan and a dip in onsens. Currently, going to Nyutou Onsenkyo in Akita looks like a good option to us.

Photos from Nyutou Onsenkyo official website

Both Zaini and I agree that Tsurunoyu Onsen looks the most appealing for us in terms of room choices. Its rustic accomodation (no modern plumbing and electricity here) kinda appeals to us. Tsurunoyu Onsen is the oldest operating ryokan there and is one of eight hot-spring baths that belong to Nyutou Onsenkyo located near the foot of Nyutou san. Of course there is a newer addition to Tsurunoyu onsen, Yamanoyado; that offers all the modern comforts of a modern ryokan complete with internet connection too.

Taenoyu looks great too, with a myriad of baths to choose from, but the rooms wasn't exactly what we wanted. Choices, so many choices...I guess it'll be easier if money is no object, but at the moment, we are looking at a 50,000yen night stay in a ryokan. That is equivalent to 5 nights at Toyoko Inn. Gasp!

And oh! Nyutou Onsenkyo has mixed gender bathing available, apart from the seperate and private baths. Would you enter a mixed gender bath if you have the chance?

And going there, we'll have the chance to take the Komachi shinkansen (Akita Shinkansen) and on our return trip, we thought of taking the Tsubasa shinkansen (Yamagata Shinkansen) with a few stops along the way before making our way back to Tokyo.


  1. I think the Japan trip is good but just like you said, money is an important consideration. A dip in hotspring is really relaxing. I think I'll enjoy the mixed gender pool, for the sake of my hubs! haha

  2. @Ayie,
    Morning!!! :) Thank goodness it's Friday! LOL

    I'd go to a mixed pool, but I guess for first timers, a private pool would be better.

    And money is definitely a consideration, what with Yen is higher now than previous years compared to Malaysian Ringgit. Sigh...

  3. Hmmm I'm definitely not the expert in ryokan and onsens so I can't say much about this. I did remember that some ryokans (or maybe most of them) offer special delicacies depending on the season. Like some inns up in northern Honshu. But then there's the budget again....

  4. @Jim,
    yes, ryokan (in any part of Japan) do offer the area's specialities, according to seasom. From our research, it's not the ryokan stay itself that is expensive, but it's the meal! But I'd still want to try at least once despite the heft price tag. :D

  5. A soak in the hot spring would be nice. But no mixed gender bath please. I am still conservative ;)

  6. Thanks for more tips on Japan tour! Yippee!

  7. i wouldnt enter the public mixed bath... coz Japanese guys are real pervert (trust me) .... but anyway.. there's private mixed baths also.. most of the ryokan provide those kinda service, as long as u pre-book it... means... one whole group whom you know goes to onsen together... mixed! nice option also!

  8. hope things will go smoothly by year end. keep your fingers crossed. :)

  9. @Mei Teng,
    Lucky there are the separate baths and private baths too. :)

    So, bought your tickets yet? ;D

    I'll take note of that. :)

    @Life Ramblings,
    I hope so too. There'll be plenty of planning and brainstorming session for both Zaini and I.

  10. Hi Lina,

    Please join Saturday Saved.

    Read more about it at:

    Thank You!

  11. Nov/Dec is a great time to be in an onsen in northern Japan.

    And the mixed onsen? It's all old people anyway.

  12. @Windmll,
    I'll check it out. :)

    That's cool! (Pun intended) :D

    Plenty of saggy sightings then. LOL

  13. Good! I learn 2 words today - 'onsen' which means Japanese hot springs or hot bath and 'ryokan' means Japanese styled inn. Just googled it. Haha!

  14. Hope you can get to go Japan! It'll be a shame if you can't!

  15. I really don't mind the mixed gender bath : )

  16. @foong,
    good to know you learn something new today. Now children, can you tell me what does rotenburo means? LOL

    I sure hope we can make it there! I'm getting kinda tired of people asking me why I haven't gone there yet. @_@

    You wouldn't? If there's Nicole Kidman lookalike there, much better right? :D

  17. I wanna go to onsen, too! But unfortunately I look like Arudou Debito :( Can it really pose a problem for non-Japanese to go to onsen? Or are these single events what we hear from some 'people'?

  18. @Nino's World,
    I couldn't say for sure, but most popular onsens should be able to accept foreign guests. So I don't think it is much of an issue now. I would think that other from the "excited"/nosy look from fellow bath mates, there is not much to worry about.

    But, maybe others can calrify this?

  19. haha you still remember the nicole kidman look a like lina! what can you say foong?

  20. @Ayie,
    and YOU remember too! LOL

  21. well who can forget a towel clad nicole kidman look a like when foong put such emphasis on that part! ahahahaha

  22. You can bring that Japanese touch closer home, too. Into your home, in fact. The Japanese have their way of decorating their place simple and minimal, yet yielding elegant results.

    Think ikebana, tatami and Hiroshige.


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