Onsen Trip from Tokyo - luxurious night at TAISEIKAN in Ajiro(Atami)
When my friends visit Tokyo from other countries, I always recommend to stay at least one night at onsen ryokan to have a unique and authentic JAPAN experience.
In fact, there are many onsen spots that are in a few hours away from Tokyo and Ajiro, Atami is one of them.
We stayed at TAISEIKAN and we really liked it, so I would love to share with you all!
Ajiro (網代), is about 1.5-2 hours by train from Tokyo. I really liked how I could smell the ocean when you are walking from the station. (It's only 3 minutes walk from Ajiro Station.)
Ajiro is not as busy as Atami and very quiet, so it's perfect when you want to get away from the loud crazy cities.
We stayed in a room with 'rotenburo' (outside onsen bath). It comes with in-room dinner and breakfast and price was about ¥50,000 ($470) for two. A room with rotenburo usually goes more than ¥60,000 ($560) so I believe Taiseikan is very reasonable.
The room was clean and BIG. Also, the room is facing to the ocean which allows you to enjoy the sunset and fireworks in summer.
The outside bath was also quite big - big enough for tall guys. The windows around the bath are closed in the picture but when you open it up, you can enjoy the sea breeze while taking a bath!
From my past experience, washroom and toilet could be very old in many ryokan so I try to make sure it is recently renovated. I couldn't tell if this hotel was new before but I was very happy with what they offer. Very clean and spacious.
One of the things I love about Taiseikan is this 'kashikiri onsen' (reserved bath) which anyone in a hotel can use if it is open. There are 2 rooms - big room for 5-6 people, and small room for 1-2 people. Both room comes with big changing room.
We chose the room with in-room onsen for more $$ but maybe next time we pay less and just use this kashikiri onsen room. You don't have to worry about your tattoos in these kashikiri onsen!
Dinner was mainly seafood and served in course. It started with appatizers of small squid, turban shell, sesami tofu, sea bream sushi, grilled Ise shrimp, eel soup and plum wine. everything was good!
I couldn't get enough of their fresh sashimi which was served in the second group. Paolo really liked broiled sea bream, but I thought it was a bit dry for me. However, overall food was plenty and satisfying.
Breakfast was GREAT! It came with lots of seafood, (I like seafood) and was very healthy. Especially, dried horse mackerel was so good. It was juicy and umami was condensed in the meat. I wanted natto but I guess it not too important.
Taiseikan offers beautiful ocean view with clean spacious reserved bath. Food was great and the service was beyond our expectation. I think this place is a steal!
But just letting you know that this hotel is popular, so make sure to book more than 4,5 month in advance in high seasons. I just checked their availability and it was booked all til July.