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Shuzenji, Shizuoka Prefecture, is definitely one of the most historic and traditional onsen resorts in Japan and today I will introduce the most prestigious ryokan there. That is, Shuzenji Onsen “Asaba”. Its history can be traced back 500 years. It started as an inn of Shuzenji Temple, and since then, its history and tradition have been taken over to this day.
Walking from Shuzenji Temple through “Tokko-no Yu” and “the Pathway of bamboo forest”, you will find a large gate as one you see at a temple. A huge noren curtain and luxurious looking foyer could be seen through the gate.
This is Asaba ryokan Inn.
Stepping inside, I was welcomed by an Okami ( mistress ) in Kimono and other Nakai ladies, which made me feel just as if I had been the master of the inn.
A large pond could be seen over the foyer. On that day, I was so lucky that I could see a magazine model on a boat to shoot pictures. Just like an image of a painting. I felt so excited to look around.
There was even a Noh stage beyond the pond. It can be used to play noh performance or have a wedding ceremony, I heard.
So, what’s inside the ryokan. There are 17 rooms in total and 5 onsen bathroom including open-air spa, inner bath, and family onsen. Some rooms have the private onsen bathroom. Please inquire when you make a booking.
“Asaba thinks much of the harmonization with nature”
The manager told me in an interview. Seasonal charms such as flowers, trees, birds, and singing of insects should be always around us. Of course, meals are to be cooked with the best selected ingredients of the season, or of the time to be served in Kaiseki style. Some guests come several times in different season, he said. They go so far as to cook rice respectively by rooms, as an aside. This is the supreme Omotenashi, don’t you think ?
Asaba, believe it or not, doesn’t have the website, by the way. That means no information can be obtained through the internet. Still, this is also one of the traditions Asaba has been upholding until now. Still it’s also true that they have almost full guests every day only by word of mouth. No exaggerated ads are required for real quality. Asaba is such an extraordinary inn you will get into very soon.
Shuzenji Onsen “Asaba”
Access ： JR Tokyo → JR Mishima → 30 minutes by Izu-hakone Railway to Shuzenji station → 10 minutes by taxi
Reference Rates ： ￥40,000 〜 ￥80,000／adult with dinner and breakfast ( tax and service fee included )
Booking and Inquiries ： By phone（ communicable in English ）
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