My first-ever private onsen experience had only transpired in the Spring of this year. We had hectic winter months, working outside, standing until the late hours of the night in the freezing temperature. As a reward, my husband booked a room with an onsen. It was in the middle of the Golden Week holiday so the price was pretty steep.
Winter in Japan can be harsh, especially for those not acclimated to the freezing temperature. My homeland is in the tropics so count me in when I say, ‘I dislike winter!’ Gone were the days when I ardently respond, ‘My favorite season is winter.’ when asked by my Japanese students. Those were the days when I haven’t set foot in Japan, and neither have I experienced winter yet. After a couple of years, of residing here, I can’t say the same.
But hey, Japan has the best antidote for the bitterly cold winter days. None other than the hot spring baths called ONSEN.
We found ourselves in the mountains of Unzen, Nagasaki. FUKUDAYA was my husband’s choice of hotel. The late Spring brought a comfortable breeze and a downpour that day. The drive to the mountains on a zig-zag road was a bit alarming due to the zero visibility. Thankfully, my husband drove with ease.
When we reached the area, a distinct sulfuric smell filled the air.
We arrived an hour early, and while they were preparing our room, we were ushered into the lounging area. The jazz music playing in the background while the sound of rain outside was muffled by the glass windows felt like a warm welcome that embraced and soothed me.
The room was an upgrade of my expectation. The vast expanse of the space, the amenities, the view, and the ambiance made my heart flutter.
Before we could settle our belongings properly, with much spirit, we found our way to our private onsen and were instantly enamored by it.
The bath had a beautiful blue hue to it. It was a bit on the modernized side. The light installed on the side of the bath area illuminated it when night came. It made a romantic ambiance while my husband and I enjoyed a night dip. The rain, combined with the chilly night breeze and warm bath was a gift no one could take away from me.
The private onsen allowed me to fully immerse myself in the experience, without any distractions. It was truly a peaceful and rejuvenating experience that left me feeling refreshed and invigorated until even weeks after.
It was one of the best onsen baths of my life.
THE DINING EXPERIENCE
When dinner came, there was a private dining area reserved for us. The room had a fantastic view of the towering trees. While waiting for the food, through the glass window, we watched the rain as it fell on trees and the wooden floorboards. The light installed in the room created a warm atmosphere. And when the food came, I was impressed by the attention to detail and respect for the food. Each dish was a work of art, carefully crafted to showcase the natural beauty and flavor of the ingredients.
Breakfast was also impressive. It was not as heavy as the dinner, but it was as healthy and skillfully crafted. I savored each bite with much respect for the culture, and the artistry they give to each dish.
Japan is one of the best when it comes to service. Theirs is top-notch. It’s proven once again here in Fukudaya Hotel. The service was truly exceptional. The staff were incredibly polite. We requested more water bottles as we emptied the complimentary while we were taking a bath in the onsen. More bottled water was sent to our room, with an ice bucket too. Such attentive staff. Shout out, especially to the old lady who was assigned to care for us during our meals. She was very kind, warned me about the hot plate, and initiated making onigiris out of the rice I couldn’t finish as I was stuffed to do it.
THE HOTEL REVIEW
The hotel was tucked away in the mountains of Unzen Nagasaki. Nature surrounds the area. The place was quiet. We booked a room with a private onsen specifically and were pleasantly surprised by how much we were given. The onsen itself was beautifully designed and maintained and had a smooth, silky texture. Its direct source is the volcano around the area.
Our room struck me with how grandeur it was. It was not a traditional one. It gave off an impression of an elegant villa. Overall, while the hotel had all the traditional elements to it, it was also modernized in some cool ways, like our room for instance. About the price, well, it was not that steep because we enjoyed everything!
This first-ever private onsen experience was one-of-a-kind. There was no rush as we had the entire onsen to ourselves. We went home renewed, like new people. A month after that, we ventured onto another private onsen experience. I already wrote about the third and so far the best private onsen we’ve had. Here’s the link to it.
Here’s the link to the hotel.
I also wanna hear about your private onsen experience.:)