Yunohana Onsen (湯の花温泉)
Feeling like splurging a bit, I went on an overnight trip to an onsen in Kameoka City, Kyoto. The hot spring resort is a 20-minute shuttle-bus ride from the Kameoka station on JR Sagano Line. It takes only 20 minutes by rapid train from the Kyoto station.
The bath on the balcony
We stayed at a ryokan(Japanese traditional inn)called Suisen.
For my companion, who is not particularly fond of taking a bath with strangers or sleeping on tatami (rush or straw) mats, I made sure our room had beds and an open-air bath just outside the room.
It turned out all the 13 rooms had beds.
It was quite lovely;much better than I had expected, actually.
Each bath is not short of towels , skin care products, and shampoo and conditioner. That means you can go to the baths with no stuff.
I especially liked the 50-minute bathing in the outdoor bath. You are surrounded by a beautiful garden with rocks, shrubs and trees that provide complete privacy so you can immerse yourself in the nature and the soft warm hot spring while enjoying conversation with friends and family.
Both the dinner and breakfast were exquisite. The portion sizes were also right, that is-not too much. (Usually at a ryokan, you are over fed ,and that was what I had expected.) Even my companion, who is not a big eater, could finish both the meals without struggling. As you may expect of an authentic Japanese meal, the dishes were all elegant and beautiful to the eye. At dinner,the rice with lily bulbs was cooked in a clay pot in our private dining room, which gave off a nice smell. At the end of the course, the chief chef came to us to ask us how we liked it. We LOVED it!
What captivated us most was the breakfast. On our table, there was what looked like a wrapped gift box for each of us. As we unwrapped it , half a dozen different foods caught our eye. Each food was neatly decorated in a latticed box. How beautiful it was! And it was just the beginning. Then came grilled fish that we had gotten to choose the night before, and rice and ginger porridge to warm us up.
The path leading up to the private hot spring bath (for which you can have the time slot of 50min)
So our trip overall was superb. Although the onsen town is not really much of a ‘resort ‘ (unlike the famous Kinosaki Onsen or Arima Onsen towns) , the ryokan, Suisen, itself is worth a stay.