Ahhhhhh. We're back from our weekend getaway at Chojukan Onsen. So lovely. So quiet. Old and simple.
Well, this is actually the newer onsen wing. I didn't get a photo of the 100-year old very traditional room, but you can find at least a small photo here.
And the outdoor rotemburo (outdoor bath), which I was able to enjoy while catching snowflakes on my tongue. A quintessential Japanese experience (that also reminded me somehow of The Palace in winter, Orr Hot Springs, and Ventana at Big Sur).
The onsen washing area...scrub clean before the tub.
A spring water drinking area outside the baths.
After a couple of hours of soaking, dinner was delivered to our room :)
Tempura fish and a sweet potato and fish filling tempura sandwich.
Beef, aspargus, mushrooms, and onion grilled in butter in a hot pot.
Cucumber and some kind of hatcho miso, mushroom in an aspic-like cube, burdock and carrot wrapped in smoked fish, some kind of crunchy roe, roast beef.
Daikon wrapped round pickled veggies, pickled spring onion, some pickled fish that tasted just like the pickled herring that Grandpa used to buy on Sundays.
Tofu and beans and a sweet fermented cabbage.
It was so much food, we didn't even touch the rice that comes at the end of the meal. A fellow guest told us that this place has "pretty good" food, but the onsen he was going to the next night has not as good baths, but better food. We certainly enjoyed ourselves, and everything was tasty and fresh. It seemed fitting country fare for the setting. Our fellow guest's complaint was that it was "too much food." But so relaxing to taste and try and rest while doing my best.
And I still had plenty of energy for late-night soak. And while we disappear for our soak, the futon fairies come and lay out the beds.
Maybe all that energy came from the green tea in the lobby tea room.
I've got to say, seeing all that snow made me itch for a ski trip. We're so busy with visitors these next couple of months, we might not fit it in, but after raising such good downhill and cross country skiers these last couple of winters, I'm hoping we'll make it happen! Till then, we'll just enjoy the blossoming trees and sunshine :)