My quest to discover both onsens and autumn leaves continued as I headed off to explore Hatonosu. This was a randomly picked destination after traveling through the area the previous week on my way to Okutama. I was determined to further explore and find an area off the beaten track.
I arrived at Hatonosu station around 10:30. It was a lovely quiet station, providing a pleasant contrast to Oku Tama and I was filled with a sense of relaxation as I wandered down the hill toward my chosen onsen.
It was only a 5 minute walk, and I was pleased to find the onsen was located in a lovely hotel called Hatonosu-sou. Day bathing didn’t start until 11:30, so I decided to head further down the road to the riverside to enjoy a short wander along the picturesque river prior to taking a bath.
The “wander” along the Hatonosu ravine was spectacular with stunning views. There was a mix of terrain from the flat and gently winding tracks, to climbing over large rocky crags and boulders along the river. I was quickly seduced by Mother Nature and the short wander before my bath turned into a 2 hour hike! There were many contrasting colours along the way from the turquoise water of the Tama River, to the gold, red, red, orange and green foliage.
Further up the river, I came across the Shiromaru dam and quieter waters, where kayakers were out enjoying the water and sunshine. The reflections in the water were stunning, and I wished I was also gently paddling in a kayak though this tranquil paradise.
Back to the onsen
Although I could easily have kept walking further upstream, my onsen was beckoning, so I did a u-turn and trekked back down the river. It was amazing how different the views were walking in the opposite direction along the river, even though I was retracing my steps.
Hatonosu-sou is a beautiful hotel that has recently been renovated. I had a good feeling as I approached the beautifully designed entranceway to the hotel.
Sure enough, the bathing area’s had also been renovated and were beautiful. What’s more it was a real sense of “mission accomplished” as I had the baths all to myself! Just how it should be!
Below is a picture of the outdoor bath that overlooks the ravine. Due to the privacy bamboo screen however, I could only sneak a look under the bottom of the screen rather than taking in the full view as I bathed. My mind was still full of the picturesque memories along my walk, so it was still a blissful experience!
I was also happy to discover a lovely Italian restaurant within Hatanosu-sou which was perfect to follow my hike and bath.
Hatonosu is definitely on my list to visit again!
From Shinjuku, take the Chuo line to Tachikawa. Change trains to the Ome line and get off at Hatonosu station. Approximate travel time is 1 hour and 40 minutes on the Chuo Line Ome Special Rapid.