Located in a beauitiful mountainous region in Hinohara, Nishitama-gun, Tokyo, this area is 90% forest and is popular with hikers, day trippers and locals alike. Just down the road from Takarasou, I was happy to have a chance to further explore the local area.
Hinohara was much larger than Takarasou, and very much like its name suggests, an onsen centre. As I entered there were beautiful displays of local mushrooms, vegetables, honey and woodwork all from the surrounding areas, so I was intrigued before I even go to the front desk to check in.
Wandering down the hall toward the baths, there were more surprises to come, as there was a beautiful corridor displaying some stunning local art including masks and frames pictures with origami cranes showing there was plenty of culture and creativity in Hinohara.
The onsen experience
Kazuma-no-yu had 3 indoor baths including spa jets, as well as a small rotenburo (out door bath) plus a sauna and cold bath area. Of course I was very happy to slip into onsen mode again and enjoy each of the baths as well as adding the sauna experience. I was careful to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water especially given I have already had a bath in the morning. Generally it is not recommended to take more than 3 baths in a day.
The onsen water was similar to that of Takarasou, ie simple alkaline which is good not only for beautiful skin, but also improving circulation, muscle pain, bruising and neuralgia.
I cannot resist a massage after a nice long soak in the bath. Onsen will always have relaxaction rooms for visitors to rest and rehydrate following the bath. Sophisticated onsens will have massage services of all kinds, where as the simplest offering may be foot reflexology and massage chairs. I enjoyed both whilst also having an ice cream from the vending machine.
One last surprise
After feeling thoroughly pampered and relaxed, I started to prepare to head for the bus stop but I had a 30 minute wait so I decided to ask if there was anything to see close to the onsen. I am so glad I did as there was a stunning waterfall within 5 minutes walk which I had no idea about…..what a beautiful way to end the day…a totally unplanned additional onsen experience with some beautiful unexpected surprises along the way – such is the joy of onsens….