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Once upon a time, there was a hotel that lots of genuine writers and painters lived in. It’s called “Kikufuji Hotel” and people used to name it “Oni-no Sumika”, the den of Japanese Oni monsters.
“Oni-no Sumika” is a famous story published in 1967. Now, the name was taken over by a ryokan located in Shuzenji, the mecca of cultural artists.
That is, Ryotei Ryokan “Oni-no Sumika”.
ONI no SUMIKA carries out the very mind of traditional Omotenashi ( hospitality ) being taken in Sekitei, Atami, and you can refresh yourself without being known to others. That’s definitely kind of lovely secret place as though Oni lives in the hidden domicile in the mountain. That time, I was lucky to be let in inside Oni-no Sumika, one of the most luxurious ryokans in Shuzenji. See the dignified gate. Made me very nervous.
Now, let’s get in. There are 12 rooms, actually separated villas surrounding the garden and ponds. So please forget the inside-the-building image because you will walk to your room through the walkway under the sky.
Walking along the pathway, I could see some rooms, “Arashiyama”, “Yamashina”, “Uji”……, the name of Kyoto basically indicates Japanese-style, and “Nagasaki” and “Shimoda” once a trading gateway indicate Western style. I was invited in a room to look around. Appreciate it !
The Japanese style has 2 rooms, Hon-ma living room and Tsugi-no-ma bed room. The spacious room itself gave me an inexplicable comfort, I felt. I opened the door and found a beautiful Japanese garden ! Awesome ！＾＾
The meals will be prepared in Kaiseki Japanese Cuisine style using seasonal best ingredients.
Please see the details from here.
This is the communal open-air onsen bath. It would be very romantic to see a stadium of stars bathing in the natural hot spring. Just relax yourself leaving everyday life behind
Generally, Onsen Ryokan has the aspect that some friends flock together to make a joyful party but here in Oni-no Sumika, it should be totally different. This is the place where you stay with someone you care so much for, like your sweetest girl/boy-friend or beloved family.
Supreme Omotenashi in the circumstance of your own away from the actual world, that is the very image that Oni enjoys his life in the hidden world in deep mountains. And that’s very what Oni-no Sumika is meant to be. Come and visit Shuzenji and explore the world of ONI no SUMIKA to feel Japanese sovereign culture and hospitality. Communicable in English.
Ishi-no Wa Group “Ryotei Ryokan Oni-no Sumika”
Access ： JR Tokyo → JR Mishima → Izu-hakone Railway（ 30 min ）Shuzenji Station → 10 minutes by #1 bus to Shuzenji Onsen → 10-15 walk
Or 10 minutes by taxi from Shuzenji Station
Reference room-rate ： ￥40,000 〜 ／Adult with dinner and breakfast
Booking and Inquiries ： By phone or e-mail
Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 13:29 Permanent Link
I’ll start with “Goyokan”, one of the most unique ryokans among traditional ryokan inns in Shuzenji Onsen spa resort. Established in 1926, it used to be a B&B style accommodation available with very reasonable rates, but recently, since Sep, 2011, it has been renovated and reborn as a ryokan style that also serves dinner and breakfast. 8 rooms in all, or maybe I should say 8 varieties because each room has characteristic features according to its master’s taste. Not alike other ryokans, nakai-san ( serving ladies ) won’t come into your room for preparing dinner or beds. Just relax yourself alone in your room.＾＾
Now, let me introduce some rooms of Goyokan. Though “Ryokan” may make you imagine typical “Japanese style”, these rooms will blow off your fixed idea. “Stylish” I would say. They may look Edo style at a glance but in fact, they are designed in reference to Feng Shui, the Chinese fortune. Each room has a theme color, like this room, for example, “White room – Taketora ( bamboo and tiger ) ” is set out basically with white things such as wallpapers. The pictures of bamboo grass and others are all hand-written. You can find varieties of drawings in Goyokan. Keep your eyes onto everywhere !
Now, what do you think ? All rooms look so fresh and creative, don’t they ? Most of the rooms are suited along Katsura River that flows in the center of Shuzenji town and I felt very refreshed by sitting on a couch by the window and listening to the stream. As you can see in the picture, Futon ( Japanese-style bed ) is ready right before you check-in so that you can lie about anytime.
Onsen comes next. It may be good enough for you to enjoy it in the large common bathroom but here I would strongly recommend you to book the private onsen room ! It also stands by the river. Pleasant with sounds of the stream. However, here is a surprise. The bathroom is equipped with a speaker with i-pod connection on it, and you can listen to your favorite music even during bathing. Be sure not to stay in it until you get dizzy. The large common baths below, by the way, can be reserved for the private until 18:00. It’s too luxurious to use them just for yourself, don’t you think ?＾＾
Basically, there are three types available for the accommodation plans of Goyokan. That is, with dinner and breakfast, with breakfast, or without any of them. Dinner is the alternative of Japanese or Western-style. Especially, their Italian dishes are wonderful ! Also try their rice porridge cooked with onsen ! And you know what ? Goyokan is a family-run and that enables them to offer services with family-like warmth, like you may hear “I’m home” or “welcome back” as families often do. Goyokan is definitely a traditional and high class looking ryokan that everybody loves.
Access ： JR Mishima Sta. → Izu-hakone Railway（ 30 min ）Shuzenji Sta. → 10 minutes by bus from #１ bus stop to “Shuzenji Onsen” and 1 minute walk
Reference Rate ：
￥10,650〜／adult, one night without dinner & breakfast
￥11,910〜／adult, one night with breakfast
￥15,690〜／adult, one night with dinner & breakfast
Inquiries ： By phone, e-mail, or through website ( acceptable in English )
Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 12:57 Permanent Link
45 minute ride on the bus took me to Shuzenji Onsen in the center of Izu Peninsula. Though I’ve ever reported about Shuzenji Onsen several times before, I here introduce again some of the tourist spots of Shuzenji briefly. First definitely comes the picture of town which always reminds me of Arashiyama, Kyoto. It may always look small but luxurious to me, the very Onsen resort that Japan can boast of, I would say.
This is “Shuzenji Temple” established by Kobo-daishi more than 1200 years ago. It’s also known as one of the best spots for Koyo ( autumn leaves ) around this season.
You can’t tell about Kobo-daishi without “Tokko-no Yu” hot spring. About 1200 years ago, Kobo-daishi saw a benevolent boy in Katsura River washing his diseased father’s body and thought the water would be too cold for them to get poured. So he stood on the riverside to tap a rock with his Tokko, an instrument for Buddhist rituals. Then, believe it or not, hot water blew out. This is how Shuzenji Onsen began. Tokko-no Yu is the very origin of Shuzenji spa resort. There you can now enjoy it as Ashiyu foot spa free of charge.
Walking along Katsura River, you will see the picturesque sceneries as in the picture with autumn leaves and the red bridge.
Going across the red bridge, you will get into the well-known “Chikurin-no Komichi”, the pathway in the bamboo forest. This is the very image of Japanese traditional cultures. Actually, there used to come old great literary figures and artists in Shuzenji and they left a body of works that have become representative of Japanese literature. Accordingly, there are lots of traditional ryokan inns in Shuzenji and this time, I’ll introduce some of them, especially some of the most luxurious ones to let you know what is the tradition !
The autumn leaves around Shuzenji are now at their best, by the way. I strongly advise you living in Japan to visit Shuzenji this weekend !＾＾ It takes only 1.5 hours from Tokyo by train. Please enjoy the Japan’s best autumn in Shuzenji !
Shuzenji Onsen spa resort
Access ： JR Mishima → Shuzenji Station by Izu-hakone railroad（ 30 min ） → 10 minutes by #１bus to “Shuzenji Onsen”
Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 14:10 Permanent Link
After seeing the spectacular sunset from Koibito Misaki cape, I stayed at “Toi Hotel Sankaitei” of Toi Onsen hot spa resort. It took only 3 minutes by bus from Toi Ferry Port or 3 minutes on foot from the “Flower Clock” that I introduced last time. Though it has “hotel” in its name, I would rather say it to be a “ryokan” inn. Not to mention Onsen and Japanese-style cuisine, they offer us various kinds of services as traditional ryokans do. They are also having lots of guests from abroad, especially from Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and, to my surprise, they have some staff from China and Korea in their hotel to welcome foreign customers wholeheartedly.
Now, let’s see what’s inside. This is the image of the Front Desk and the Lobby. It looked so decent and spacious. The lounge bar and souvenir shop are also available. Please take a look around after check-in !
They have 40 rooms, which accommodates up to 180 guests in all and very positive to accept group tours. This is the room I stayed, by the way. Yes, with private open-air onsen ! It can be used only for bathing. No bubbling. Please use the inner bath or communal baths when you shampoo.
Please refer to other rooms from here.
And this is the dinner I had on that day ! See all the dishes served. Fresh sashimi, nabe the hot pot, crabs, and other creative cuisines. And yes, Ise-ebi the Japanese lobster ! In this season, from the onset of Ise-ebi fishing around late-September until mid-December, most of ryokans in Izu Peninsula join the annual event “Ise-ebi Matsuri” festival that they offer room plans with Ise-ebi cuisine in very reasonable rates. I took one of them. For other information about dinner, please find from here.
After lovely and fabulous dinner, let’s jump into Onsen hot spring ! Sankaitei has as many as 7 onsens inside the hotel ! If you don’t like to bathe with other guests, please book the private bath as in the right picture. It would be next to nothing to stay bathing looking out the beautiful Suruga Bay. Especially, I like it in winter because it usually let me have the traditional mind and spirit that have been told since old times. Other Onsen pictures are available from here.
Now, what do you think about staying at “Sankaitei” ? There is a bus stop right in front of it that goes for major tourist sightseeing spots such as Shuzenji and other points along the east coast of Izu Peninsula. When you trip to or from Tokyo, Nagoya, or Osaka, please be sure to stop by Toi Onsen to have the most exclusive day !
Toi Hotel Sankaitei
Access ： 2.5 hours from Tokyo by car, bus, or train. In front of “Nakahama” bus-stop.
Standard room rate ： ￥15,000〜￥30,000／adult ( w/dinner & breakfast. Tax & service fee included ) ￥150 of onsen tax will be added to the room rate
For group-rate or other information, please inquire from here ※Please use e-mail in case you question in English.
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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 09:44 Permanent Link
Izu City, located almost in the center of Izu Peninsula, can be reached from Tokyo in around 2 hours by cars or trains. Today, I introduce some of the most popular sightseeing spots of Izu City, “Shuzenji Onsen” spa resort and “Toi Onsen” spa resort.
Now, Toi Onsen is a part of the Izu west coast and is said they are having lots of tourists from abroad since “Suruga Bay Ferry” was connected from Shizuoka City. Several roads to major tourist spots such as Numazu, Shuzenji, Nishiizu and Shimoda spread out from the Toi ferry station.
Then, what’s in Toi ? The “Flower Clock” shall come first because, believe it or not, it’s been registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest flower clock of the world. 31 meters in diameter ! From spring to summer, it will become full of varieties of colorful flowers, I assure. Tourist Information Center stands beside the flower clock. Please be sure to get the local map there. Beyond the roadway is an Ashiyu foot spa spot of Toi Onsen hot spring. No admission for both the Flower Clock and Ashiyu spa required. Please enjoy slower and more comfortable time in Ahiyu seeing the exclusive flowers !＾＾
Now, this time, the Sunset from Koibito Misaki ( Lover’s Cape ) was one of my targets during the trip. Izu west coast is well known for the spectacular sunset and Nihiizu Town, adjacent to Izu City, often boasts of its beautiful sunset as “the best of Japan”. Anyway, you can reach Koibito Misaki in 10 minutes by bus. First of all, I moved forward to the store manager, the cat, to say hello. I met him last year, too ! He is still there to be buddy-buddy to visitors.＾＾； Cute, isn’t he ? It took me about 10 minutes to the deck at the end of the pathway.
I stopped at the first viewing deck. I like the scenery of Mt. Fuji from there. Can you recognize it over the sea in the picture ? I almost forgot the time, seeing the beautiful coastline in a cozy breeze.
It was just a few minutes before 16:00 when I stood in the deck at the point of Lover’s Cape. 3 couples were already there waiting for the sunset. Weird there alone, I felt somehow. I killed some time keeping the Fecebook......then, the sky began to be dyed crimson, and at the same time, threatening clouds began to appear around the east horizon. Sunset in the horizon, everybody there must have wished it.
But it was very quiet on that day, no wind, no waves, and the clouds were mean-spirited enough not to move away……Still it was OK with me because I could take some nice pictures and maybe it fixed me a good reason to visit there again to see the perfect sunset ! Yes, I will !＾＾ Koibito Misaki cape is free to enter. Please stop by when you pass the eastern Izu coast♪＾＾
Have a good day !
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“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ＾＾
Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 15:38 Permanent Link