My boyfriend and I had trouble finding a place with a private onsen in Hakone, so we booked this onsen in Yugawara. We needed a private onsen as my boyfriend has a tattoo, and you are not allowed in public onsens if you have one on your body.
The onsen was not too difficult to get to. We walked there from the station, which took about 20 minutes, but was well worth it. There is a wonderful temple along the way that is worth checking out. The onsen is tucked in between the shops, but wasn't too difficult to find. The sidewalk is watered so that you know it is an onsen, and my name was written on the board outside.
When we arrived, I got to choose my style of yukata, and we were shown to our room. We had the biggest room in the ryokan. This came with a dining room, two bathrooms (western and traditional), a living room, a sitting room, a shower room, a sink room, and our own open air onsen outside.
The maid served us tea and sweets when we arrived. We ate dinner at 6pm. The dinner consisted of many courses that I cannot name, but can describe:
The first course was tofu in sauce, served with a bowl of bacon and green onions on the side, and a bowl of mushrooms, fish eggs, and what I think was bamboo shoots. We thought this was to mix with the small bowl of tofu. We also had a variety of sashimi, and a shot of fruity sake.
The next course was soup that was served in a teapot, and a sticky pumpkin ball that was stuffed with what I think might have been minced meat.
The next course was probably salmon served in a boal with sweet and salty brown liquid with some kind of vegetable that tasted like a sweet but firm potato, and a grey cube with black spots (I don't know what a lot of traditional Japanese food is called).
The next course was steak from Australia served with mushrooms, green beans, and gravy.
The next course was a candle-lit soup that boiled at the table. It consisted of unpeeled shrimp, scallop, chicken, cabbage, mushrooms, and clear noodles.
The last course was miso soup, rice, fruit, sashimi, fruity tea, and Japanese pickles.
It was a lot of food. We couldn't finish it all and needed a nap afterwards, but it was interesting to sample a huge variety of food.
Our private onsen was very nice! It was big enough for the both of us to spread out, and was still big enough for more people. We never tried the public onsens, but we didn't need to. Ours was outside by a small stream surrounded by trees. We were able to go into our private onsen as much as we wanted, and we did!
After dinner our futons were spread out for us.
At 8:30am we were served breakfast. Breakfast consisted of rice, miso soup, fried fish, a bowl of about 100 little white fish with shredded raddish, scrambled eggs with ketchup, soup with tofu, cabbage, and mushrooms, tea, coffee, salad, and some white food that tasted like hard jello. Our maid was very kind to us during our stay.
We paid about 52,500 yen for one night's stay for two people. The mini bar prices were decent, and the onsen was the best feature. The only minuses I really had were that some of the furnishings in the ryokan made it look like an old 70s samurai film, and the food wasn't exactly to my taste, but was still good. If you like to eat a ton of food, this place is for you! I think we ate for two hours straight.
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