To immerse in one of the most popular cultures in Japan, which is the ‘onsen’ aka bathing in a hot spring, one must abide by the bathing etiquette. There are strict rules one must pay attention to. The two most important and common rules are to strip into your birthday suit, and tattoos are taboo. Fortunately, some hotels are loosening up to the latter. So, no worries! Regarding myself, however, I’m most concerned about stripping naked while with strangers. That’s why a couple of years ago, I requested my husband that if possible, I would love to try a private onsen experience where I could relish in the calmness and beauty while having the bath all to myself.
Fast forward to the present, this hotel situated in the mountains of Unzen, Nagasaki, gave us the best experience. Among the three private onsens we’ve tried, this one gave us the best wabi-sabi effect.
If you scroll through the photos, you’ll see how magical the place is, especially at night. If it rains, the fog adds magic to the serene surrounding. The raindrops are like confetti falling on your shoulders and you can’t help but look up above and murmur a ‘thank you’ to the Creator.
The room has its lounging area facing the bath and the zen garden that gives off a cozy feeling as you read or gaze at the placid water.
Our room had two sleeping areas. The first one was where the futons are spread at night for you to sleep in. The second was in the lounging area with a TV. There were two television sets, but we were too occupied with the bath that we ignored them.
At dinner and breakfast, we were escorted to a private dining room. It was a fine dining experience, the Japanese way.
After a hearty dinner, my husband and I marveled at our accommodation by dipping in the tub for the second time that day. There was no rush and panic as the bath was all to ourselves. It was so magical that we promised to go back next time, maybe in the autumn season because we know it would be bursting with red Momiji leaves.
The room we stayed in, by the way, was TSUKITEI.
For more information, here’s the link to their website. https://www.sinyuhotel.co.jp/lg_en/
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