Posts Tagged ‘Onsen Hot Spring’

Somewhere special

Monday, October 7th, 2019

Kyoto Ayaginu House

The house was beautiful and immediately gave a sense of being somewhere special. The Japanese features were stylish and well set up for the traveler.  Location was superb.  Less than 10 minutes to Kyoto Station and around the corner from a 7/11 in a quiet street.  While the doorways were short for Tom, there was enough space to spread out and relax at the end of the day.  The only concern would be if a family with young children were to book the house, there was no barrier coming down the stairs – a huge drop.  I made Will promise me that he would hang onto the wall at all times.  There was also a quirky window that opened up in the Main bedroom overlooking the staircase void.  Again, Will was banned from going anywhere near it.  Safe to say, Will behaved himself, but I would be on edge if I had small kids.


Ryofukuen Kiyoharu

The staff were friendly and very obliging and wanted us to have a wonderful stay.  In the paperwork it suggested a taxi ride from the station to get there, but they do have a shuttle bus. We used the shuttle bus everyday and without it, the accommodation would have been a little too far away from town.  The accommodation was dated and a slight scene (very un Japanese) between the husband and wife on arrival made Justin and I both say “Welcome to Faulty Towers!” We experienced a little bit of culture shock with the style of stay, but after the initial impression, the place grew on us it and was one of our favourite experiences. Poor Lily, she really is not a fan of mushrooms and fish and it was the main ingredient celebrated in the first dinner and breakfast.  We were almost going to request one less meal and get Lily something in town, but they were very intuitive and served up a “western breakfast” the next day which made Lily happy.  The dinners over the 3 nights were all different too.  We all tried everything and although we didn’t fully eat all the dishes, it was a wonderful way to experience the culture and cuisine.  A definite thing most first time visitors to japan should do.  The onsen was great! One bath inside with a cold bath and sauna and another outside in a lovely garden setting.  Justin, Will and I embraced it.  It was very quiet at the hotel, it seemed like only our family was there for the first 2 days, which I find a bit unnerving.  However it was Monday to Thursday and perhaps weekends busier.  The upside was the onsen was empty, which really helped

Very well done of the recommendations.

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Hi Paul,

Just got into Tokyo, and back into the world of free hotel WiFi. The ryokans may be terrific, but wi-fi isn’t one oftheir strengths..

So far, it has been terrific! All connections worked really well. Everything is so much easier than when I was in Japan last time, about 100 years ago. Lots of English spoken; buses, trains, subways all do signs and announcements in English now. Before there was none of this, and it was quite baffling. Often got off at the wrong stops, and unable to ask anyone. Much general frustration.

Loved the onsen experience. Miyajima and Takayama were very good, but both places were full of foreign tourists. Arima…no-one in the English-speaking world seems to know about it, so we were the only foreigners in the ryokan, and two of the very few in the whole town.

Kosenkaku was a delight. We have never experienced anything quite like it…anywhere.  The service was extraordinary, the food astonishing, the location peaceful with beautiful mountain views. Complete silence, other than the eating, hot tubbing, and sleeping. The whole hotel, from Manager down came out to fare well us.  It was quite moving.

Also, Hiroshima and Tokyo hotels very good. So, very well done of the recommendations.

Regards, Ross

Valuable Local Knowledge

Friday, February 15th, 2013
Hey Akiko,
I had no idea about the tattoos in the baths! That’s so strange (hello Japan lol)
In that case – we will go western style rooms throughout all of the trip if that is ok, anything on free-sell around the 200-240 per night would be great!
I will tell him the sad news and will get the payment as soon as we wrap up the quoting.
Thank you so much for your help – it’s so nice to have an expert on the other end of the phone line!


Everything went so smoothly

Friday, October 12th, 2012
Hi Kathy,
How have you been?  Just want to thank you for having organised such a great trip to Japan for us  again!
Everything went so smoothly , this time, we specially enjoyed the stay in hotels as the breakfast was 100 times better than the youth hostel ones.
We didn’t need to carry luggage as often as we used to, what a relief! For our next trip, I hope we can keep the same arragement for hotels and etc.
We were treated as VIP in the school, did our visit much longer than expected as the principal kept taking numerous photos and taking us to many venues. 
Our girls enjoyed Onsen and shopping so much. We were all tired, but safe!
Thank you again
Kind regards,

Fabulous Trip

Monday, September 24th, 2012
Dear Yoko-san
I hope you are well. The trip was fabulous. I had a very enjoyable time. Everything went well, the food was delicious and the hot springs were soothing. I had no problems driving in Hokkaido and saw a fox, deer and squirrels.
It was very hot though.
I did see the Hiroshima vs Yokohama game and enjoyed it very much. It was nice on hot summer’s evening. (Yokohama won by 1 run)
Thank you so much for your kind help
Arigatou gozaimashita


Honeymoon to remember!

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Hi Clement!

It was AMAZING!!!! Such a beautiful resort. All the staff were extremely helpful and attentive. The food was superb! The services available at the resort were good too. You could have dinner in your PJ’s! I mean come on, how cool is that. Of course the highlight was the hot springs. The views were beautiful, and oh so relaxing!!! Ahhhhh…I’m imagining I am there now!! IF only huh!? Anyway as you can tell we loved it. Definitely the highlight of our trip. It was good that it was towards the end of our holiday too. It ensured that we were extra relaxed before coming home. I think 3 nights there is plenty too, any longer and you may get a little bored. But thats just me. I can’t sit still for long.

Hope this helps!!
Thanks again for all your planning and organising of our honeymoon. Its def one holiday we will always always remember.


Takayama – a great opportunity to experience a ryokan

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
We felt blessed when we were greeted by the lovely guide at Osaka airport after a long queue for fingerprinting, face recognition etc. Of course we were weary, and it was a great luxury to be swept to the hotel in a very flash Toyota limo.

Hyatt very good. Room on first Japanese second floor, so a good view of the roof below, but it was very quiet and comfortable. By far the smallest of our three rooms, but great bed, bath and breakfast.

The bike tour was a huge success. Although we had a couple of rain showers we managed to visit all the temples/shrines/palace as well as stopping at a tiny ‘hole in the wall’ for noodles, which is what we had requested.

If you have any clients remotely interested in architecture or art I would certainly include the Miho Museum. It is absolutely breathtaking. Almost worth the trip to Japan, and made so much easier with the car. Again, the blossoms not out, but magnificent.

Cherry blossoms started to really bloom while in Kyoto, and being the weekend the Japanese tourists were out in force, quite a few in national dress.

Takayama – a great opportunity to experience a ryokan. That place also had a great onsen on the ground floor, and contrary to our expectations we were provided with three not one excellent dinners. The first in a private room of their main dining area, the second at Hotel Alice? where we were served slivers of the heavy duty cholestrol steak. Third night another private room in their sushi bar part of the hotel. I would certainly recommend that place. The town also features some very pleasant walks, and of course the famous floats.


Thank you for all of your work

Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Dear Eri,
I would also like to thank you for selecting such excellent hotels especially Keio Plaza hotel in Shinjuku (ichi-ban) because of the variety and best quality of food at the buffet restaurant –  and the quad room which we understand is very special size in Japan.
and Biyu No Yado with beautiful onsens and snow Monkeys were special and Yukki our host is so considerate of us.
We had such beautiful sunny weather and Cherry Blossoms were everywhere we went !!!
We have had a beautiful holiday and we managed to work out the trains and we just went where we wanted to and when we wanted to.
The only time we got lost was in the subway shops under Osaka Umeda station – that was very big – but we did take a compass.
Thank you for making all our arrangements,
everything went as booked and our family had a beautiful holiday.
Everyone in Japan was glad to see people starting to visit again after 2011.
Domo arigatou gozaimasu.


Thank you for your efforts

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Hello Olivia,
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 weeks in Japan.
Just to recap a little, we spent the first 4 nights in Tokyo (Shiba Park Hotel); the next 2 in Yudanaka (Ryokan Biyu no Yado); 4 nights in Kyoto (Ryokan Hatoya); 4 nights in Osaka staying with Japanese friends; 3 nights in Hiroshima 1 in Kurashiki and, our final 2 nights in Tokyo at Shiba Park Hotel again.
In Tokyo, we had two pre-arranged tours you booked for us.  A half-day Tokyo tour and a full day Mt Fuji / Hakone tour.  Both of these tours were excellent.  As we were travelling with our 11yo daughter, having English-speaking tour guides made everything so much easier for her … and for us too.
Shiba Park Hotel continues to be a friendly, comfortable and conveniently located as well.
I’ve already mentioned Yudanaka and Ryokan Biyu no Yado.  What a wonderful little town and a brilliant inn.  The Snow Monkey park was my wife’s choice, so I didn’t know what to expect.  However, the two nights we spent there could easily have become ten! 
We had the best time there with Yuki, Masao and Craig.  They couldn’t do enough for us.
Kyoto and Ryokan Hatoya was a different story.  This was my third visit to Japan, and third to Kyoto so, I’d seen most of the touristy things already.  My wife and daughter enjoyed it though.
Ryokan Hatoya was excellently located, so close to the station.  It was very comfortable.  Some of the staff spoke quite good English, but it was hit-and-miss as to whether they’d be on duty when you needed them.  Their onsen was good too.
One area that was curious to us was breakfasts.  Not only at Hatoya, but it was highlighted there.  There seems to be a notion that Westerners eat huge breakfasts.  Here, and at Yudanaka, our breakfasts were far, far bigger than we could eat.  It resulted in a lot of wasted food and a feeling that we’d ‘let down’ our hosts.
My last visit to Japan was 18 years ago and, back then, the breakfasts were not nearly as big as they seem to have become.  Maybe there could be some education of accommodation providers to offer a ‘tick the box for what you’d like’ for the set breakfasts.
Some of the places we stayed at, offered buffet breakfasts (Shiba Park Hotel and APA in Kurashiki).  We found that a good option too.
While in Kyoto, we did a day trip to Arashiyama.  This was a very pleasant, easily accessed area.  The unfortunate part for us was that we chose a long weekend to be there.  Naturally, that meant we had several thousand of our closest friends there too.  Oh well, you can’t do much about that!
If you were lucky enough to be there on an average weekday, it would be quite scenic and a lovely day out.
Apart from the very well conducted Kyoto/Nara all day tour, we also found Nishi-Honganji Temple; walked the Gion District and found some great places to eat.
Can’t say too much about Osaka.  We stayed in the home of friends in the southern suburb of Yao.  They showed us around their town, mainly the Tennoji area and, we went to Horyuji Temple, one of Japan’s oldest temples and a truly amazing place!  On top of that, we saw the Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Harbour Village and Osaka Castle.
Our daughter loved all these.  Tempozan Village was new to all of us and the Ferris wheel afforded great views of the city.
In Hiroshima, we did all the usual things; the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Park, Shukkeien Garden (beautiful … and so close to Flex too!) and, Miyajima (always good to visit).
Next stop was an over-nighter in Kurashiki.  In hindsight, I’d not recommend an overnight stay in this town unless there was no other choice.
The Canal Area of town is beautiful and well worth a day trip, even a long day trip to take in as much as possible.  However, we didn’t find too much else to interest us in the 24 hours we had there.
Forget the Museum of Natural History … it seemed like it hadn’t been updated since it opened in the ‘80’s.
From Kurashiki, we went back to Tokyo and the Shiba Park Hotel for our final two nights.  It was nice to be back in an area we knew well.  Jane and Mia went to Disneyland on the following day, while I checked out some motorcycle shops.
On our last day, with an evening flight home, we just took things nice and easy, got to the airport early, shopped, ate and, thought of what awaited us at home.
We had a fantastic trip, made so much easier by the efforts of yourself and JTB.  Thank you for your efforts … especially after we re-arranged everything following the March disaster.
Jeff & Jane and Mia

How magnificent!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Dear Olivia,

Could you please pass the message on to Takeda San.

The taxis were waiting for us at the right time at Toya Station, the weather was brilliant, the scenery was magnificent and the accommodation (Kohantei) was superb. We all tried the onsen and some of us were able to sit in the rotemburo and gaze out across the lake at Yoteizan. How magnificent! We were all tired out from all the walking we did yesterday (some walked about 20kms) exploring the various walking trails in the area. We could have spent another day there.

Thank you very much for all the organisation especially the taxis at the last minute and insisting on sending us to Kohantei.

The weather tomorrow (Friday 13th May) will be cold with a maximum of 7 degrees, but we are all prepared for that. Today is a rest day in Obihiro, although most of the group have gone out exploring as soon as we checked in. We have a very genki group.

Also it looks as though the Sakura will be following us around. It was in full bloom in Hakodate, and is just coming into bloom in this area.

Thank you for all your organisation. With a start like that, the rest of the trip will be magnificent I’m sure.

Kindest Regards,


This is a great time to go.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
Dear Ryoko,

I have just returned from an exciting and blissfully indulgent holiday in Japan. I was overwhelmed by its beauty, its cultural richness, its varied, delicious and healthy cuisine, by the remarkable efficiency with which everything ran, and by the exceptional level of service and the generous hospitality of the Japanese people.

Japan is extremely safe, with the only damage from the earthquake (for which the country is well prepared) and tsunami confined to a relatively small area and not affecting the rest of the country at all. Obviously, potential visitors have been deterred by the irresponsible manner in which the media describe events confined to a small area as though they affect the whole country. This nonsense has been added to by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs recommendations, left in place long after other countries had removed their warnings.

I was fortunate that there were so few tourists, so there were no crowds. The added advantage was the cheap rates. This is a great time to go.

All aspects of the trip ran with smooth efficiency, thanks to the skilled and professional organisation by JTB, who drew up a varied and fascinating itinerary making the experience the holiday of a lifetime.

This was my first visit. It will not be my last as I look forward to returning there as soon as possible.


Thank you so much for your help.

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Dear Lily,

We had the most wonderful time in Tokyo and Kyoto. Thank you so much for your help in finding the right accomodation and guided tours. I am sure we will be back to explore more of this beautiful country.

We absolutely enjoyed our stay at Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo. Everything was just perfect from the room service to the room itself. We would definitely stay there again.
Both tours (Tokyo Morning Tour and Mt. Fuji/Hakone Day Tour) were fantastic and the lunch was delicious.

The rooms at New Miyako Hotel in Kyoto were quite old and the matresses very worn out, but the rooms were clean. We stayed in the old part of the hotel for one night, but kindly asked whether we could move to the South Wing which is the new part of the hotel. The staff was very friendly and gave us a great room in the South Wing. This room was great, everything was nice and comfortable.

I can recommend the Maiko Night Tour very much. Watching the Maiko dance was really amazing and the dinner was fantastic, too. Also, we were allowed to ask the Maiko questions which were translated to her.
The Kyoto and Nara Full Day Tour was very interesting (especially Nara).

And thank you so much for recommending us to go to Arashiyama to see the Bamboo Grove.

To sum it up, I think it was a great mix between going on guided tours and exploring the cities on our own.

Kind Regards,

We would jump at the opportunity to do it all over again!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Dear Noriko

Just an e-mail of thanks and to tell you how much we enjoyed our holiday, Re-your itinerary you customised for us.
We would jump at the opportunity to do it all over again!. Unfortunately the expense would not enable us to do it again so quickly!. The break between City life at Hakone and to enjoy the onsen (Volcanic spring baths) was an awesome experience, and at every opportunity we indulged in the experience, not to mention the view of Mount Fuji and lake Ashi from the Hotel. There is so much of the wonderful experience of Japan I could mention but time does not permit. But on that point, also thanks for acquiring us hotels close to the Rail Station which helped considerably cost wise and time!. Although for your notification the Hotel in Osaka, New Hankyu, the bedroom was so small & uninviting compared to all the other hotels we were happy with only having to stay only approx. 15hrs so it could only go down as a temp. en-route stay prior to departure!.
Anyway! again thanks for your assistance in compiling an unforgettable experience for us.

Yours sincerely

Keith & Sophie

Onsen Experience

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Hi Clem

Well, I’m back!! Japan was fantastic!!

All the accommodation was great. Good to be back to a soft bed now though, that’s for sure. They were all in really good locations – even the Tokyu Hotel in Kyoto was only a 10 min walk from the station so we only caught a taxi once when we arrived.

Takayama Ryokan was amazing. Hubby loved it, and was mega scared to try the onsen, but after much encouragement he attempted it and then I couldn’t get him to stop raving about it. He was first to go back the next morning (may have had something to do with the fact we were the only ones in there both times in each of ours, which made it easier).

The only thing that was a bit crappy was My Fuji. We left Takayama at 9.30am (you had suggested 10.30), and caught the train back to Odawara via Nagoya, but by the time we got there it was 3.30pm even though we caught the bullet trains where possible and all the trains connected perfectly (love the rail over there!!). By the time we transferred to the little train to Gora, cable car etc, it was quite late and we had the basically race through everything, and literally run from train-cable car-ropeway-pirate ship to make the last departure at 5pm.

The weather was really crappy that day, and we didn’t see anything (no Fuji-san), and it was really cold and overcast, so we just got on the train straight away back for Tokyo. We were gonna skip it altogether, but decided at the last minute to go for it, but was kinda a waste of money, then we couldn’t be bothered going back and doing it all the next day again even though the weather was perfect (of course).

So, of course not blaming you for that, but just a handy bit of feedback for next time that it takes much longer to get there, so prob wouldn’t advise people do it in one day as you don’t have time to see anything.

Other than that one day of craziness, we had great weather. The cherry blossoms were amazing, and it was so great to get back after 10 years (can’t believe I could still speak & understand some Japanese). Thanks for planning everything!!