Never before had I checked into a hotel with my feet immersed in a footbath! What a beautiful way to kick off my overnight onsen getaway to Atami Yutorelo. Just over one hour from Tokyo, this boutique hotel is tucked away on the hillside near Atami. Despite little time for sight seeing on this trip, I was keen to make up for it by enjoying every moment during my stay. The magnificent view overlooking Sagami Bay and the soothing waters of the footbath were a pretty good way to start. No stress with this paperwork!
As I was finalising my check in, the staff told me about the magnificent sunrise views that could be seen from where I was sitting. I confirmed the sunrise time for the next day and made a mental note to myself to be up bright and early. For now though, it was off to my room which was very comfortable and elegantly furnished.
As always I was looking forward to my onsen experience. On the way down the corridor I was pleasantly surprised to find a stone foot massage path which you can walk along to and from your bath to relax your feet. It was a really novel idea, however some of the surfaces were a little challenging for me and I soon diverted back onto the regular walking surface of the corridor!
The bathing areas were well maintained and featured both indoor and outdoor baths surrounded by rich green foliage.
I was pleased to see a couple of extra touches in the bathrooms. Firstly, there was information in 4 languages about the benefits of bathing in hot spring waters. So often this information is only available in Japanese, and you miss out on learning the many medicinal benefits from the natural minerals which are unique to each area.
Secondly, I loved the bamboo hats that are available to use in case of rain or snow when you are bathing outside. Fortunately I did not need one during my stay, although just the sight of them brought back special memories from years ago when I had sat in an outside bath looking ever so elegant in my birthday suit and straw hat whilst the snow gently fell around me.
I took my time enjoying a soak in each of the baths. After a light dinner I returned for another bath before bed.
Sleep came easily to me that night as I happily nodded off, looking forward to the sunrise over the sea.
I was up at the crack of dawn like a kid on Christmas day and tip toed out the door for a morning walk. A magnificent view awaited me and I was filled with a sense of awe. I just love the immense beauty and power of Mother Nature and her ability to bring all of your senses to life.
After such a wonderful start to the day, it was time for more sensual stimulation via my morning bath and a healthy Japanese breakfast.
I really enjoyed taking my time over breakfast savouring every moment. Knowing I had an 11am checkout was an added bonus. It had been such a relaxing stay and my internal battery welcomed the recharge.
All too soon however, it was time to take the shuttle bus back down the hillside to Atami station and transfer to the Shinkansen to Tokyo.
From Tokyo take the Kodama Shinkansen to Atami (45 minutes). Atami Yutorelo is another 15-20 minutes by public bus or the hotel shuttle bus.