Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mizunuma 5 étoiles *****

This morning, I got up a bit later than I wanted to. (8:30 am) yes, even on holiday, I like to get up early. Once more I put aside my plans to go to Nikko and started looking for an Onsen not to far from Ota. I couldn’t find anything interesting until I stumbled on some old American man’s blog. One word: Mizunuma. Less than 1 hour away from Oizumi… and even better, the Onsen is IN the train station… so no need to wonder around town trying to find it.
I was set… At 10:30 I was all packed and ready to go to Mizunuma. Although I had really liked my trip to Oigami, the onsen over there was disappointing so I was a bit apprehensive about going to Mizunuma. Oigami was suppose to be one of the best in Japan. Mizunuma is not known at all. I couldn’t find any reviews nor pictures… So blindly, I jumped on the train and kept my fingers cross that the place still existed and was open on a week day!!
The train ride was easy and required no line change from Oizumi. I got off at Aioi station and jumped on the mountain street car. What an amazing ride through bamboo forest up the mountain along an impressive canyon!!! Just the trip was worth it. Waterfall, flowers, wild birds… such a pretty sight!! I got off at Mizunuma station and as expected, stepped right into the Onsen.
The staff was a bit surprise to see me and seemed really relieved that I spoke enough Japanese to get around. I had to remind them a couple  of time to speak slower. They nicely answered all my questions through out the day ;-) So back to my arrival. They first showed me arround the whole facility.  And explain to me the different bath. Once more, this Onsen does not compare to the ones in Saitama but I must say the overall atmosphere was unbeatable. The view from the baths was simply breathtaking. The place was calm and very clean. The best part was that it only cost 500 yen for the day. (about 6 dollars)
For lunch I bought a local produce bento box for 1000 yen. It was delicious. The eating room was a traditional tatamis room and the national sumo tournament was playing on TV.
At the end of the day, my skin was so soft!!! I just can’t wait to go back. I decided to go back for my last day in Japan!!
Since Harajuku is out of the question this year, I though the Onsen will be the best departure gift to myself.
Feel free to contact me if you need more info about this Onsen in Gunma prefecture. I truly recommend it!

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