Easy to Get to from Tokyo! Five Recommended Onsen Inns in Yamanashi
Yamanashi Prefecture, which is Tokyo's neighbor to the west, is an area with numerous gourmet dishes, including hoto (a regional dish of udon and vegetables in miso soup), grapes, nashi (pears), and wine. It is easily accessed from Tokyo by train, which takes just about two hours. Below are five recommended onsen inns to stay at when you visit Yamanashi.
This is a popular ryokan (Japanese inn) where you can feel the warmth of the wood from valuable trees that were used to build it. The open-air bath that is the pride of this inn is in a location that feels as if it’s cradled by nature. it has a majestic bathroom made with wood from a 2,000-year-old hinoki (cypress tree), with numerous baths in which you can enjoy hot spring water from the famous Isawa Onsen (hot spring). Dinner is a multi-course Japanese meal that consists of fresh local ingredients, including seafood and vegetables.
Shimobe Onsen, which is counted among Japan's top 100 hot springs, is an old hot spring that opened 1,200 years ago. Umezono, in Shimobe Onsen, is a popular inn with a historic bath where the famous Sengoku era military commander, Takeda Shingen, was said to have healed his wounds. Its baths have a liberating feel, with fabulous views of nature through their large windows. The guest rooms are traditional Japanese-style rooms. There is a wide selection of rooms, including those with private baths made from hinoki or ceramic, which are fantastic if you want to bathe in a hot spring with great healing capabilities all by yourself.
3. Hanayagi no Sho Keizan
This is a popular inn in Isawa Onsen, which is famous for its skin-beautifying benefits. At this inn, you can enjoy plenty of this hot spring’s waters in spacious large bathrooms with liberating open-air baths. Some of the guest rooms have private open-air baths, which are popular among guests who enjoy having these hot springs to themselves without worrying about other guests. The inn is also known for its fabulous food, with a variety of courses, including those in which you can select main dishes from among steak, shabu-shabu, yuba (tofu skin), and yakuzen ryori (medicinal cooking). There are staff on-site who speak English and Chinese.
4. Yamagishi Ryokan
Lake Kawaguchi is perhaps the most famous of the five lakes at the foot of the famous Mt. Fuji. This is a popular inn on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi. There are fantastic views of the lake from the panoramic open-air bath on the top floor, the spacious and luxurious shared bath, and the comfortable guest rooms. The dinner has a variety of regional dishes, such as Wafu Steak-zen and Gyu Shabu, which is one of the appeals of the inn. It also has a souvenir shop with a wide selection of items, including regional specialties.
The last inn to be introduced is Kagetsu, located in the center of the popular onsen town of Isawa. This is an inn that has been favored by many cultural figures and artists since its establishment in 1964. Its hot spring water is soft on the skin. There are liberating open-air baths and large indoor baths where you can relax and enjoy the hot spring in luxury. The inn also has a beautiful Japanese garden where you can see different views each season. It is an elegant space with approximately 8,000 koi (carps) swimming in the beautiful pond. There are English-speaking staff on-site.
When you come to Tokyo, be sure to take a short trip out of town to enjoy the hot springs at Yamanashi Prefecture.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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