After a relaxing few days with Sham in Nagoya, I hopped on a bus to Takayama, about three hours north, close to the Okuhida Hot Spring Villages in the Alps (Japan). I had splashed out and booked myself a room in a Ryokan Kazeya which is a traditional Japanese-style accommodation usually having it’s own Onsen (hot springs).
For my good money, I was lucky enough to not only have access to both an indoor and outdoor hot springs but also my own private indoor and outdoor bath!
My room was luxurious, a cosy futon, unlimited green tea and a very good heater. It was freezing, around 5 degrees, but if felt much cold due to the lack of insulation in traditional Japanese buildings where walls are paper thin and windows single paned.
I had spent a fair bit on travelling to the remote area in a bid to get away from it all and “relax” which is something I often struggle to do and this was exactly what happened. As soon as I arrived I jumped on one of the free to use mountain bikes and went for a ride.
I only cycled 5km to the Shin-Hodaka Ropeway Station but it felt like a marathon in the cold, wind and rain. I was excited to see the beautifully mountain range from the top of the highest point but the view from the cable cars first station was zero so after consulting others returning from the top, I was forced to give it a miss.
By the time I had returned back to the ryokan, I was frozen so I ran straight into the private onsen and soaked in the hot bath for over an hour. I had splurged some more and upgraded my evening meal to a 12 course Kaiseki dinner. Kaiseki is a traditional gourmet Japanese meal made up of multiple dishes focusing on taste and presentation. It’s a just for foodies like me and I enjoyed all 12 courses in my own private dining room – review up next on the blog!
After a glorious nights sleep I enjoyed another gourmet feast with a multi-course breakfast including salmon, grilled miso, soup, rice and some other weird and wonderful things. It was a wonderful stay at Kazeya which I practically had all to myself, but I did feel that I would have enjoyed it more if the experience was shared.
Living life, loving a splurge,