So I was lucky enough to get cheap tickets to Japan for a hot spring vacation. We reserved rooms at two different ryokans. We picked the easiest and least expensive ones to visit. Our trip began at Narita airport, we hopped on a shuttle to the Sheraton Miyako in Tokyo and settled in. We got in late so we went straight to bed and woke up at 5:30 am the next morning, this was basically our schedule the entire trip since we never recovered from jet lag. The next morning we ate some breakfast, walked around the garden at the hotel and got attacked by giant insects. Apparently the bugs are ten times bigger in Japan than in the US. Here are a few pix from the garden.
Afterward we took the train to Ginza so I could look for some used film camera gear. I stopped at a few spots and ended up getting an old Canon TLb body for about 5 bux and a Fuji GW 690 for $160, which is way cheaper than I paid for mine in the states.
We spent another night at the Sheraton then woke up ass early to catch the train to Gero in the Gifu Prefecture. Here is the train station and some bullet train action pix.
After a transfer at the Nagoya station we headed up into the mountains and arrived at our first Ryokan, Yunoshimakan Onsen in Gero. They sat us down for dinner and served me shojin ryori, this happened to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my entire life. After falling asleep around 8pm I woke up early and peeped the hot spring area. Each area is separated by gender, but they switch the pools nightly so you get to experience both pools. Here are some pix of the indoor and outdoor pools along with photos of the grounds.
After soaking we went into town and walked around for a few hours. There is a bunch of cool shit like abandoned buildings and a free outdoor hot spring.
After we got back to the ryokan I spent a few hours exploring the building. It was built almost a hundred years ago and has a ton of cool shit everywhere. The rooftops are especially awesome.
After another night of soaking we got up early and took the train to Kyoto to do some touristy shit for a couple days.
After that we got on the train back to Tokyo to make a transfer up to Takaragawa Onsen in the Gunma Prefecture.
The train up through the mountains is much slower than the bullet train so I sat behind the conductor and got some head on photos of the ride. If you know me then you know how excited I was to be up there, I was smiling like a big retarded baby.
We got to the ryokan just in time for dinner again. We ate and then passed out at 7pm. Got up early as fuck and got my dawn soak on. Here are some pix of the outdoor baths during sunrise.
There are signs posted up everywhere saying no photos so I had to take most of these early in the morning when no one was around. Also as soon as I would set up my camera some asshole would walk right into the pool and fuck it up so it became a huge hassle. Here are some more photos of the pool and the grounds at Takaragawa Onsen.
We spent two days in this hot spring paradise. I was expecting to get yelled at cuz I have tattoos but no one said anything. As long as you don’t soak while everyone else is and you aren’t a loudmouth American asshole you won’t get harassed. We got up and out on our last day, took the train back to Narita airport and fell asleep on the plane.
As much as I love hot springs I really love riding trains, even though it cost a fuckton of money to ride them everywhere I still had a blast. Next time I’ll plan ahead and get a rail pass. Any questions just plop them down in the comments section.