Casual onsen trip to Ito

25 Jun

While ago my husband and I went to onsen that is only 2 hours or so from our place. At that time we didn’t take Pi-chan. It was nice to be with her, but at the same time I found that I was always concerned if she feels good, if she needs to go to No.1 or 2, and I was very tired from the holiday after all. I wanted to go to onsen anyhow before it gets too hot and humid.

At that time when we went to the onsen, the weather was OK compared with the current one. Right now it’s in the middle of rainy season called “Tsuyu” in Japan. The temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius, humidity maybe around 60-70%. Here comes my least favorite season! Tsuyu lasts for a month, and then summer comes that is about 35+C (even at night it’s around 30C) and very humid. We basically cannot live a comfortable life without air-con in summer. It’s hot by the end of September. *depressed* I hate summer more than any other seasons if I have to stay in Japan. It was the last chance for me to visit onsen that time, because I will not be able to enjoy onsen when the weather is so hot, no matter how much I love it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

A fish shop that looks nice, which we found on the way to the inn. But souvenirs such as fresh fish should be the last thing to buy at the arrival.

Before we decided what to eat for lunch, I couldn’t think of anything but Unagi since I smelled the smoke of grilling Unagi! My husband always says “Whatever you like, I really don’t care.”


At east Japan most of Unagi is steamed, which is a big difference between Unagi from west Japan. I sometimes want to eat it made in a west Japan way. They don’t steam it. The difference is ours is too soft compared with theirs. Well actually miso or dashi (soup for Udon for example) is also different between east and west Japan. I somehow long for another Japanese life of mine in Osaka especially since my visit to Osaka last time.

The Unagi unexpectedly stayed in my stomach so long hours that I had hard time having a big dinner at the inn. ๐Ÿ™„

Nice historical onsen ryokan “Toukaikan” (founded in 1928) looked so tempting. It somehow reminded me of the movie “ๅƒใจๅƒๅฐ‹ใฎ็ฅž้š ใ—” (Spirited Away) but unfortunately we had no time to have onsen there. We never expected this existed there. We had our plan. We had to go. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

It’s so nice to stay at such a very Japanese place but my problem is that I prefer western foods and bed to Japanese foods and futon. I have found so many nice Japanese hotels with very Japanese-like interiors and exteriors but these places often prepare 100% Japanese way. I was not sure if I can eat Japanese foods for both at dinner and breakfast, and I am not sure if I can sleep well on futon. This may sound very strange to you, but I don’t like to sleep on futon and tatami because it’s too hard. It’s actually very hard to find out Japanese taste of interior, exterior, and onsen but combined with western taste of food and bed within my budget. Most of the time I settle at a small inn that offers French cuisine or Japanese-French cuisine and western type of room that has a bed located and the outside onsen is fabulous. (My husband doesn’t care. I am the one who is particular about what to eat, where to go and stay, what to do, and etc. Thus it’s always I that plan for our trip or where to eat out.) While some of my blog readers say their previous life could be Japanese, I have a feeling this is my first life as a Japanese. (lol)

My husband used to come here often for fishing. I cannot fish because I feel so sorry and sad when I have to see the mouth of fish when the hook is to be taken off. Moreover it’s too boring and being short-tempered I cannot stand staying still until the fish comes.

Walking in the park, I need to locate myself in a deep forest. I was dying to have forest bathing. At night, we came back this place to observe bunch of lightning bugs.

Bathing at a private onsen after walking. ๐Ÿ™‚ We can hear birds singing and murmur of a brook while having a nice onsen!

Another private onsen (Rotenburo= outside onsen) where we bathed at night and in the morning before breakfast. ๐Ÿ™‚

Himono (salted dry fish) as a souvenir. I don’t like to eat grilled fish so much but they were really good! Himono when it’s grilled it tastes better than raw fish being grilled, only if the Himono is made in good quality. My husband said he would buy their Himono if he has a chance to go fishing in Ito again. We can keep them in a freezer with each Himono wrapped separately.

It’ll be in October when I feel like going to onsen again. I have to survive this uncomfortable summer from now on, but from time to time I need to go to Ganbanyoku to have my body warmed from everyday’s cooling by air-con.

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12 Responses to “Casual onsen trip to Ito”

  1. Ilaria June 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    ็ด ๆ•ต๏ผ๏ผ๏ผ๏ผ
    That place really reminds of Sen to Chichiro no kamikakushi!!
    ๐Ÿ˜€

    • kirin June 26, 2010 at 12:02 am #

      You too? So that was not only me. ^ ^

  2. Thomas Gantz June 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Great photos. I really miss going to onsen. We used to go very often, especially to ones in Izu hanto, but have not been to one in a while. I used to take many great photos in nature there ( thomasgantzart.com ) , but now it seems lime I just take photos with my iPhone for this blog. It is too bad you cannot enjoy onsen in the summer. Maybe you guys should go to an onsen upvhigh in the mountains somewhere where even in the summer it is cooler. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin June 26, 2010 at 12:01 am #

      Right, if we go to north or mountains we can still enjoy onsen in summer. :p I keep telling my hubby we should live in Hokkaido every summer from June to September, which of course is an ideal life only when we can afford it. ^ ^;

      Your photo blog is cool! You have good skills of camera works. I don't even have a good camera myself. haha…

  3. sedonia2 June 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    What a beautiful place you stayed in, Kirin. And the Unagi looks delicious. I could eat that right now! lol. Though I'm with you – I think the futon and tatami would be too hard. I like very soft and mushy bedding for the most part. Even when I write my books set in Japan, I always have the characters sleeping on a kind East-West misture – a futon on a platform with cushy bedding to make it soft. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin June 26, 2010 at 12:08 am #

      I remember when I stayed at my friend's house, I could not sleep at all because of the futon on tatami room. It was just too hard to fall in asleep comfortablly. I had to roll over so many times to find out the right position, and the morning came. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ If I choose to stay in ryokan and sleep on futon, I will ask to have 2 or 3 futon so I should not feel tatami on my back directly. ^ ^; These days some ryokan (Japanese styled hotel) have a flooring space with beds besides tatami room where we can eat and relax.

  4. Angel June 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    The Onsen looks so relaxing! (But I agree it would be too hot to go in the summer)
    What a nice visit to the Onsen you had! Thank you for sharing!

    • kirin June 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

      It's too bad I cannot even take a hot bath at home now because it's too hot now. When I take a bath, I keep sweating on and on when I finish bathing. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ That's why lately I only take showers and see how different things are! I think I need to live in a cool place and take a hot bath every night. :p

  5. Lisa June 26, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Oh my goodness, that unagi looked soooooooooo good! ^^
    The private onsens look fantastic as well – thanks for sharing about a really interesting place that we (or at least I!) may not have been able to discover as easily by ourselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin June 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

      Thank you, Lisa!
      I think you can find such sort of Onsen by yourself because you understand Japanese well. ๐Ÿ™‚ As is always, I picked it out from JALAN. ^ ^ hehehe… The point is to check the Kuchikomi page, and the best thing is to choose the hotel with over 4.3 ratings. This hotel was 4.6, and other hotels I've stayed so far and really nice scored 4.8. I trust this rating so much and I never stay the one under 4.0.

  6. Teres July 7, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    What is the name of the onsen? I'm looking for one just like that somewhere around Tokyo! ๐Ÿ™‚

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