While we were admiring sakura in Eboshiyama park, we stayed at an inn (ryokan) called Daimonjiya.
I've banged on and on about why we prefer ryokan over hotels before but (incase you are new to this blog) essentially, we prefer the homely atmosphere, the personality and the quirks of an independently run ryokan. While every ryokan will differ, you can be sure of generous hospitality.
Our room turned out to be a whole lot more that just one room. We ended up with 1 bedroom, large sitting room and a bathroom. Each one was spotless and spacious.
Akayu Onsen is a spa town with mineral rich natural hot springs. Daimonjiya's bath was particularly good for muscle aches, burns, fatigue and neuralgia.
Daimonjiya has separate baths for men and women and a kashikiri-buro or privately bookable bath (no extra cost) available too.
|Yonezawa beef prepared for shabu-shabu|
|Pork prepared for cooking at the table.|
Dinner was a feast! Served in our own private little dining room, it was a huge tasty affair composed of perhaps 5 different dishes of various sizes and as much rice as we could handle. In the mix of things was a beef shabu-shabu, sashimi, grilled fish, pork yakiniku,
The highlight of which was the locally produced Yonezawa beef (1st food pic). Most foodies will have heard of Kobe beef. Well, Yonezawa beef is up there as one of Japan's 3 prized beefs, less known internationally but celebrated within Japan for its taste and marvellous marbling that makes it almost buttery soft and succulent.
I was far hungry when I woke but the sight of the food lovingly prepared for us and the knowledge that we had another long journey ahead of us stirred my appetite.
About 7 minutes drive or a 20 minute walk from Akayu station, Daimonjiya sits at the foot of Eboshiyama park. While we were there, it seemed as though the place was wearing a crown of cherry blossoms. Such a wonderful sight.
From Tokyo you will need to get your Japan Rail Pass out and book yourself on a bullet train. We jumped on the Tsubasa bullet train from Tokyo station and exactly 2 hours and 19 minutes later we were at Akayu.
|Hiro wears a Watanabe Junya jacket. Happy Socks, Acne Jeans and Eastpak.|
With the exchange rate at the time, we paid £74.00 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast and use of the kashikiri-buro. Other thoughtful things included in the price was a toothbrush, hairbrush and hand towel for use at the bath. Also we had use of a yukata, jacket and slippers. The only additional cost was our alcoholic drinks.
Daimonjiya seems to be run by the dearest old couple. The old lady did most of running around while we were there yet she always had the time to stop and be friendly. Although English is not spoken there are lots of English leaflets etc explaining things so it would not be a problem for non-Japanese speakers to stay here.
USEFUL LINKS |Daimonjiya Website (Japanese)|How to get a JR Pass| Photo Diary of Cherry Blossom Viewing by Night|Photo Diary of Cherry Blossom Viewing at Eboshiyama Park |