Feb 15, 2010

Shimizuya Ryokan, Yunokami Onsen, Fukushima Pref.

Typical Japanese style ryokan room. Kotatsu in the center of the room is an electric heater. While having dinner at a dining room, ryokan people prepare Futon, the Japanese style sleeping mats in the room. (photo: Feb 2010)

Spent last weekend at Shimizuya Ryokan(清水屋旅館) of snow covered Yunokami Onsen(湯野上温泉) in Fukushima Prefecture with my husband. He doesn't like onsen at all, but he is a train spotter and agreed with me to stay here because this ryokan sits right beside railway of Aizu Tetsudo.

I couldn't recognize more than one hundred years of its history from its appearance.

This is the oldest ryokan in Yunokami Onsen. I chose here as I often feel longer run ryokans tend to supply better hot springs. They started business in Meiji era in 1890.

It's a pity that original buildings were covered up by renovation and nothing tells its long history, and stained carpet and others show they need another massive renovation. If you want to stay at an up market ryokan, you'd better choose another place.

Rotenburo of the Shimizuya isn't so open because of the roof. The temperature of the hot springs is different in each bus tub.

Their rotenburo, open-air bath is gender mixed and ladies only time is set from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. There are four bath tubs and a big Sakura (cherry blossom) tree at rotenburo area. The transparent hot springs are smooth without strong scent, good for my husband and satisfactory for me. Indoor baths are gender separated, and ladies' bath is bigger.

Indoor bath for men. Ladies' bath is twice as big.

◆Shimizuya Ryokan, Yunokami Onsen
(湯野上温泉 清水屋旅館)

Type: Gender mixed open-air bath (Ladies only from 4:00PM till 6:00PM), gender separated indoor baths


Business hour: They accept day visit soaking from 10:00AM to 6:00PM. For overnight stay, advance booking is necessary, check in time is 3:00PM and check out time is 10:00AM.

Admission fee: ¥500 for day visit. Overnight stay starts from ¥8550 with dinner and breakfast per person. If you stay alone, extra charge necessary.

Equipment & Service: Complementary soaps and shampoos. For a overnight staying guest, a hand towel, a bath towel, a tooth brash and tooth paste, a Yukata (bathrobe and pajamas) are ready. I mean you don't have to bring anything special for overnight stay.

You can see the only one station building with miscanthus or straw thatched roof in Japan here at Yunokami Onsen.

Address: 762 Idaira Yunokami Simogo-machi, Minami Aizu-gun, Fukushima Pref.

Location: 37.296945,139.900085

If you have a Japan Rail Pass, go to Koriyama(郡山) with Tohoku Shinkansen from Ueno(上野) or Tokyo(東京) , then to Aizuwakamatsu(会津若松) with Banetsu-saisen line(磐越西線) and change trains to Aizu Tetsudo line(会津鉄道) at Aizuwakamatsu to Yunokamionsen(湯野上温泉). Japan Rail Pass doesn't cover Aizu Tetsudo, and you have to pay ¥820 extra one way.

If you don't have a Japan Rail Pass, taking Tobu line from Asakusa(浅草) through Shinfujiwara(新藤原) then to Yunokami Onsen is cheaper at ¥3760 one way without express fee.

Link: Map of Shimizuya in English (scale changeable)

My rating (A - E ): B for the onsen, C for the room

My husband satisfied with this scenery from the window of our room.

【Related post】Rotenburo at Yunokami Onsen, Fukushima Pref. Closed Down (May 14, 2009)

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