What We Did:
We didn't take very many photos while we were at the onsen because the whole thing is about the experience and relaxing...and, well, photography obviously not allowed where everyone is nakers. It was a really unique experience- I had never done anything like it before, and I'm really glad we went. The resort was way way up in the mountains- we had to take a train to a bus and then get picked up in a ski resort parking lot by the onsen staff to access the actual place. I really liked how everything felt very traditional and from a lost time. All the roofs were thatched and all the rooms were bare tatami, and couple of them even had the sunk in fire pits for heating food and water. When we arrived we were given clothing to wear during our stay ( to meals and back and forth from the bathhouses).
All around us were the natural hot springs with their signature creamy blue water, and they had built all these wooden shoots and pipes that channeled the water to the bathhouses. The bathhouses were beautifully simple and serene- they had little enclosed changing rooms, but once we came out to the water there weren't any walls, just four posts, so we could see all the mountain scenery around us from the water. The water was so so hot. I could only stay in for about 6 minutes at a time, and our skin was bright red for quite a bit afterwards, but it was actually pretty chilly out there so it felt nice.
What We Ate:
A big part of one's stay at an onsen is the food. Onsens all make their own traditional and regional meals, so everything is specific to the area. Traditional meals consist of several small dishes- mostly all savoury but some of them are subtly sweet. I think we had about 11 or 12 little dishes to try for dinner, and probably around 8 for breakfast. Sorry I wasn't good at taking photos, but I didn't think to bring my camera to either meal and was just focusing on taking it all in. The different foods had very unique, and very japanese flavours. I don't even know how to describe some of them, but ones I recognized were a cured fish, tempura'd vegetables, pickled mountain vegetables, nabe, udon, bitter tofu, egg pudding with fish cake, and some really really old tasting pickled something. I had a pretty hard time downing that last item, but everything else was good for my not yet quite adjusted american palette.
We were alone at dinner, but for breakfast they had everyone all in one room, which was fun because we sat next to an old couple who spoke english and loved talking us through the food. He learned english by living in brooklyn so he was excited when we said we were visiting from new york.
What I Wore:
Well, during my stay I wore this:
But arriving and leaving, I wore this:
(cardigan: forever21, sweater: syrup, skirt: thrifted)
Love from Japan,