|Above, the front of the Shinkadoya. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
One of the things I've always wanted to try is a hot spring ryokan. Now I have.
The town of Atami is about an hour out of Tokyo on the Shinkansen. There are natural hot springs in Atami as the town is built on an ancient volcanic crater. It is a favorite resort town of Tokyo residents.
|Above, the front desk. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
We (girlfriend Denise Santos, her son Aiden and I) checked around for a ryokan that has a hot spring and found the Atami Shinkado. I made reservations via email (they said that it is better to call them for reservations).
The rates are a bit pricey. Ours was 24500 yen (roughtly $205.00) per person. We stayed one night.
|Above, our room's living area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, a view looking towards the bathroom and the room entrance. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the area where our luggage would be placed. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The room we stayed in was very spacious, not like the hotels one finds in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan where you're practically bouncing off the walls. It featured a private bathroom and toilet (western-style, not a squatter) and a tub outside on your own private terrace with a great view of the town.
|Above, filling our outdoor tub. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, our terrace. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
We also ordered a dinner and breakfast. The meals are extra, but well worth the price. The dinner was brought to our room in either nine or twelve courses (I lost count). By the time the last course is brought to your room, you're already full. The breakfasts were equally filling, but not quite nine or twelve courses.
|Above, a morning view outside from the living area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the sunrise view from our terrace. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The ryokan has several floors and it is pretty big for a ryokan. One can easily get lost in the place. It also has communal baths (inside and outside), with the sexes separated. The outside spas were on the ryokan's rooftop.
|Above, the women's outside communal tub. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the men's outside communal tub. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the staff outside. After checking in, guests are led to their rooms and your luggage is brought to your room.
One we were settled in the room, we filled the outside tub and soaked. It was very relaxing.
After dinner, we were so stuffed, we elected to put together our futons (instead of waiting for the staff to do it for us) and went to sleep. We had a great night's rest.
Check-out was also pleasant as the staff arrived at the time designated by us to take our luggage down to our awaiting taxi. We were given a nice send-off by the staff as we entered the taxi.
|Above, a photo taken during our departure by a staff member.|
Although pricey, I wouldn't hesitate to stay at the Shinkado ryokan again. You'll definitely get the most bang for your buck!
My grade: A+.