Onsen by the Sea

‘Onsen’ is the Japanese word for ‘hot spring’, and being at the junction of three tectonic plates, there’s a lot of hot water spurting from the ground. Many of the famous hot springs are up in the mountains, but because of Hubby’s geological interest we visited one that was near the ocean.

The Izu peninsula is closer to Tokyo than Kyoto, so we backtracked quite a few kilometers on the Shinkansen. We stayed in the small seaside town of Izu-Kogen, at Ryokan Hanafubuki, an onsen resort.

Hanafubuki

The ryokan is actually many buildings, some accommodation, others for hot springs, all located on a lush forest/garden.

Hanafubuki

Hanafubuki

Each hot spring (there are seven of them) had water piped from underground, an adjacent enclosed private garden and lockable doors, so you can have the place to yourself. This was really a place to relax and enjoy the onsen.

Hanafubuki

Our rooms were enormous this time, with private gardens and even a sitting room.

Hanafubuki

Hanafubuki

In a garden close by, we could see the local (currently dormant) volcano, Omuroyama. There was even a lounge chair from which we could contemplate its form. So Japanese.

Hanafubuki

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