I've been to Aoni Onsen with my girfriend shortly after Christmas. It was a herculean trip from Tokyo, but it was definitely worthwhile. We took the Shinkansen up to Shin-Aomori and, then, an Express Train to Hirosaki. From Hirosaki, we took the local Konan train to Kuroishi. This was probably my favourite part of the trip! The train cuts through the countryside of Aomori, among rice fields and small businesses. Since we went in late December, it was all covered in white and packed with snow! There is only one railway, so the trains run in a very long interval. The landscape is one of the best parts of this trip! We were lucky to catch a sunny day, so we could see all mountains around us, including Iwaki-san!
After arriving in Kuroishi, we took a city bus from the station to a meeting place called Rainbow Lake (Niji-no-ko); a dam lake. And there we boarded the Hotel shuttle bus! The driver was an old bald jii-chan who patiently explained all that was going on around us: told us of the huge snow that had falled, of the wild dogs that were seen running around the hotel earlier that day, and told us the names of all the mountains in the horizon! He stopped the van in some parts of the way to show us the pretty landscape and allowed us to take some photos. The way from the lake to the hotel takes about 20 to 30 min, and is a single-lane curved inner mountain road - which was fully snow-packed when we went.
The hotel itself is amazing!! Very traditional: all rooms in tatami mat and wooden flooring. The rooms are equipped with oil stove heaters, futons and a low table. No electricity! =D And, also, no mobile reception! It's an amazing place to forget about the world. They have 4 different hot baths, one of which is mixed bath, in the middle of the snow (in winter). It is a delicious place! The food is traditional Japanese cuisine, with plenty of vegetables and fish! In the last day, we got a delicious lunch with the best curry-rice I've ever eaten in Japan!
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- Also Known As:
- Lamp No Yado Aoni-Onsen Japan/Kuroishi, Aomori Prefecture