A first trip with our dog, Pi-chan!

23 Mar
confused-pino We had a small trip with our 9-month-old female dog for the first time. Her name is Pino and we call her Pi-chan (P-chan, or just P) We chose to stay at a small hotel that accommodates people travelling with dog. Living in Tokyo means one can live without a car. Public train comes every 3 to 5 minutes. Bus runs very often. Distance between stations are not so far. Hence we do not own our car. We rent a car for the trip to Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, about 150 km north from Tokyo.

It’s been half a year since we started living with Pi-chan, and she is just like our baby because we have no kids. Places such as restaurants, hotels and entertainment facilities that allow dogs enter are limited. Besides that, it was the very first trip for Pi-chan to stay somewhere outside home for long hours, and I picked out places to go and stay very carefully, preparing against what if occasions. What if she vomits in the rent-a-car? We need some extra towels! What if she holds pee or poo because the environment changes? We’d better prepare her toilet! What if she gets hurt? Let’s check out the nearest animal doctor around the place where we will stay! What’s needed to use pet insurance if she has to go see the doctor? Wow! We were fully prepared for the trip so that Pi-chan will have no major problems.

As it turned out, she was pretty good without any trouble and she had first outdoor Onsen (hot spring) experience at the hotel. (Don’t worry! Hot spring for human and dog is separated, and we just take some hot water from our place and put it into her place, add some water so that the water temperature becomes suitable for dog.) The outdoor hot spring is located in the forest where we can hear birds singing and mountain streams while bathing. (I think I like hot spring or bathing so much. When I travel inside Japan, I will never choose anywhere without good hot springs.)

Pi-chan doesn’t like bathing. She always scares whenever she has to get shampooed. We just wanted her to get used to water and do not scare or get too nervous against grooming.

We had a relaxed scheduled trip in Nasu, where we visited a farm or a park, as well as some herb garden and nice restaurants. When we went back to Tokyo, however, capital freeway was jam-packed with cars, cars, cars…While my hubby was frustrated with the traffic, I was playing with taking ugly pictures of Pi-chan on the backseat. πŸ˜›


18 Responses to “A first trip with our dog, Pi-chan!”

  1. Jeshii March 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    haha, we call my friend P-chan. XD Both are very cute πŸ˜‰

  2. Always Kawaii March 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Cute picture,I am sure you hade a nice trip! πŸ˜†
    Thanks for sharing,I love to read your posts!
    Have a great week my friend-

  3. sixmats March 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    I had a Shi Tsu when I was growing up and he looked just like this. I hope your dog is as good to you as mine was to me.

  4. lunaticg March 25, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    Your Pi-Chan certainly adorable…
    Hug him for me please.
    Thank you. :mrgreen:

  5. kirin March 25, 2009 at 2:42 am #

    @Jeshii, @Always Kawaii, @lunaticg,

    Thanks for your comments. Travelling with dog is unlike travelling with humans only, so I have to say I could not keep relaxing all the time. But the trip was sort of new experience to me, and I had a good time. πŸ™‚


    Oh you did? Actually me too. My family had a Shih Tzu dog when I was a student. So I thought I knew what it’d be like keeping a dog. Several years passed since she died and I thought I’d never want to have a dog again because her death was shocking to me. But somehow, I changed my mind and now we have Pi-chan.

    I realized one big difference between taking care of a dog as a family member and being an owner to the dog. Being an owner means being busier, but increasing more joy, affection, and commitment. I used to dislike kids before I had Pi-chan, but she changed my point of view and now I see kids so sweet. I’m learning something from her.

  6. JACQ March 25, 2009 at 2:45 am #

    I just wanna say, Pi-Chan is SO cute!

  7. Dutchie March 25, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Hi Kirin,

    Pi-chan has many fans here I see πŸ™‚ ! *pats* *hugs*

    When our white terrier was alive, she likes sticking her head out of the car window n enjoy the cold wind. We could almost see her smile with delight *grin*. Other than that she likes to run from one end of the seat to the other. Hubby has a special carrier behind the driver’s seat where she could hop on n rest her head on hubbys shoulders when she is in need of that contact. Yes, man n dog r a closed pair. Sometimes I tease hubby that he has no need for a wife bec he’s so blissful with his pet dog – haha.

  8. kirin March 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm #


    Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that! πŸ™‚


    When I talk about kawaii (=cute) stuff, I realized I have very sweet kawaii Pi-chan always around me. So I’m thinking of having a Pi-chan corner or Pi-chan page when I renew this blog in the very near future.

    BTW, I think I understand what’s like dog’s “smile with delight” πŸ™‚ I’m sure how much you had great time with your dog. There was a gap between imagining to have a dog and to have it in real. I noticed that I like my life with pet a lot better than without. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing your good memory with your dog!

  9. Gina Alfani March 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    She is so cute with a sweet little face πŸ™‚

  10. Dorothy L March 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Hello….what a sweet little dog. It looks and sounds like you have a very nice trip.

    Thank you for sharing!

  11. kirin March 27, 2009 at 2:03 am #

    @Gina Alfani, @Dorothy L,

    Thank you for your comments. I’m glad and really surprised to be able to have responses from many people. πŸ˜€
    I was thinking that I can share the cuteness of my little dog, Pi-chan with my blog readers, but I somehow couldn’t find the opportunity until now. πŸ˜‰ In the near future I think I will try to update Pi-chan videos on Youtube, hopefully!

  12. Walter March 28, 2009 at 1:04 am #

    πŸ™‚ She look totally relaxed in the last picture there !
    At my parents home we used to have a dog ,that was a cross between a German Shepherd and a Scottish Shepherd ( slightly smaller than a shepherd but the colors of a collie )
    She died when she was 14 years old. I took her for long walks most days ( good for your health ! ) πŸ˜‰

  13. robert-Gilles Martineau March 30, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    Dear Kirin 😈
    Greetings from Shizuoka!
    I have just linked with you!

  14. milkberry April 2, 2009 at 2:03 am #

    hi kirin!
    waaa is that onsen inside your room or is that a public onsen? that place looks nice! can i have the name of that hotel/ryokan please? πŸ˜€

  15. kirin April 2, 2009 at 2:41 am #


    Walking dog everyday is really good for health and for a change, especially after I work several hours on computer. πŸ˜‰


    Thank you! I’ll check out your blog more often. πŸ˜›


    This is public onsen but we can reserve for 40 minutes or so and that means during that time, nobody can come + share it.
    There are hotels or ryokan which locates outdoor onsen each room, but they cost sooo expensive! But if you choose something like this (reservation for exclusive use) you pay less while you enjoy yourself not bothered by others.

    This small hotel costs very reasonable. Only 16000 yen or so for 2 adults per night including dinner & breakfast, and 1000 yen for dog. But I have to tell you this is the hotel designed for dog & dog owners, which means they offer wonderful service regarding dog but on the other hand they miss something good for human. (eg. the beds were too hard, very small room with no hot water, only cold water, etc.) So if you do not take your dog, you can select this type of onsen hotel with low budget anywhere. Also, this small hotel serves Western meals, so in your case, I believe you want Japanese style, don’t you? πŸ˜‰

    But for your reference, the hotel name is

    Have you checked out γ˜γ‚ƒγ‚‰γ‚“? http://www.jalan.net/
    Do you or your hubby have problem in understanding what’s written in Japanese? I always pick up the hotel to stay from this service. I can save points, which allows discount at the next hotel, deleting the point from the total cost.

    If you really need my help for Japanese, I may be able to help you personally as you live in east Japan, too. So in that case, please contact me personally from the contact page above. πŸ™‚

  16. shih tzu dog November 12, 2009 at 1:32 am #

    we have the same name of our dog, i also called my dog Pino, but we he is a silky terrier dog, not that one.

  17. Elaine November 8, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Hi, I was introduced to your site by a friend, Cath and I wonder if you could recommend a kids friendly hotel in the outskirts of Tokyo. I would like to introduce my kids to nature, like the mountains, farms etc and is looking for a nice place near Tokyo for a 2-3 nights stay.

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