Which HOTEL to Stay in ATAMI | Best ONSEN EVER!
Atami is one of the best onsen getaway near by Tokyo. There are so many hotels and onsen ryokan in Atami and in fact it is always hard to choose the right one even when you are local here. To be honest, I had so many, how should I say... not-so-great experiences but I finally found a hotel/ryokan that I want to go back again.
I just went to Atami last weekend and had the BEST experience ever at Shukaen Yunohanazen so I would love to share with you!
**NOT sponsored. Just my honest review!
Let's start with room. We stayed at a room with a private onsen inside. We paid ¥25,800 per a person including dinner and breakfast served in the room. I truly enjoyed the traditional Japanese room with a nicely decorated tokonoma (recessed alcove).
I have to say that the hotel itself was a bit old but the room was partially renovated and cleaned very nicely. I usually don't like old Japanese hotels because it's kind of scary to me and reminds me of school trips, (Japanese schools use old ryokan to minimize their cost for school trips) but I loved their room!
From the balcony, you can see Atami harbor and the whole city. The night view is beautiful too. (Sorry. I forgot to take a picture.) Hotel staff told us that you can see fireworks from the room which is awesome! The good news is they have fireworks all year around, not just summer so you should check the fireworks calendar before booking.
AND THE BATH!! I really loved this private onsen and a good selection of amenities including shampoo, conditioner, body soup, face lotion, face cream and toothbrush. I usually hate the amenities stuff because it dries out my skin but they had good ones.
Let me just first say that we were SO FULL after dinner and it was DELICIOUS! Dinner course was served in 3 parts. The picture above is just the first part. We went to take a bath before the dinner, so this photo below was already served by the staff when we came back to the room. Yes. I already felt like a queen.
So the first part includes an aperitif of a local yuzu liquor, an appetizer platter, a big sashimi boat on your own, Tokoroten, a hot pot with pork and grilled fresh abalone. God the abalone was delicious.
In the middle part, we got broiled red sea bream (one for 2 people) and sakura shrimp tempura. Finally in the final part, we got flavored rice with whole bunch of cool pickles, steamed eggs and desserts.
After dinner table was cleaned up, they even served us extra onigiri just in case we get hungry at night.
Breakfast is also served in the room. It was a dream breakfast! Appetizer plate in the middle had an onsen egg, tsukudani, simmered dish with satoimo and tofu, umeboshi and other stuff to go with rice. Also big pot of miso soup a big pot of chawanmushi (steamed egg). Also I loved squid sashimi. I always love fresh grilled fish at the breakfast in Atami hotels but we were too busy eating other stuff and over cooked it. Oh well!
Customer service was GREAT! It seems like you get a designated staff for your room and our staff was extremely polite and full of hospitality. I could tell she was from other country from her accent but she speaks slowly in a polite manner. We loved her and also other staffs who helped us in the lobby were very helpful.
The hotel is located 5 minutes away by car from the Atami station. You can either ride their shuttle bus or take a taxi. Where to take a bus was extremely easy too. There was a shuttle bus stop for all of hotels and you just need to go to stop 'A'. (Please check with the hotel in case it may change.)
Just in case you don't know, there are so many different types of onsen from white creamy ones to stinky sulfur ones. Onsen here is a simple clear and no smell type which I LOVE. My skin got super soft and smooth!
Near by sightseeing
I really wanted to go to this shrine to see this 2000 year old tree with spiritual power. It is only 5 minutes away from JR Ito line Kinomiya station, which is one station away from Atami station. If you are active like me, walk from Atami station - it's about 15-20 minutes away.
So, after you pass the main shrine, you will meet this 2000 year old tree. When you are there, make a wish without telling anyone and go around the tree once. It's supposed to make your wish come true and give you power.
This is not a big shrine, you probably need about 30 minutes to 1 hour to go around but there are many things to see.
This is a shopping street at JR Atami station. You can buy souvenirs and check out cool little cafes there.
If you get a chance, go to ISOMARU 磯丸 sushi restaurant. It is my favorite! It's reasonable AND EXTREMELY FRESH. It will never disappoint you.
I hope you get to stay at this hotel. It is a popular hotel so be sure to book it as early as possible.