This is day 8 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.
So, day 8, here we go!
From Shauna’s Journal
Day 8, October 8th, 2017
This morning Dustin and I bittersweetly said goodbye to our home base in Ikebukuro (for now) and headed for the Shinkansen that would take us to Gunma! We ate some delicious ramen and parfaits at the station and reserved our tickets for the bullet train. We were a tad confused- Dustin asked a security guard where our platform was and he gave Dustin a wry smile, saying “You can do it! Fighto, fighto!” with a pat on the arm while pointing us in the right direction.
We did go to the right platform but we boarded the wrong train! It took off so quick that we just stood there worrying about what to do. A Japanese couple took pity on us- a young woman approached me and told us where to get off to catch our correct train! ❤ I thanked them profusely (the train staff did eventually come to talk to us, but the friendly woman saved us a lot of anxiety!)
Finally we made it to Gunma. I bought a few Gunma-chan (Gunma’s mascot) souvenirs and soon we were on our shuttle to Takaragawa Osenkaku Ryokan.
The bus ride to the onsen ryokan was breathtakingly gorgeous. The most beautiful lush trees and mountainous skylines i’ve ever seen. A well lived-in, country feeling. Narrow, winding roads.
The ryokan itself is astounding. Resting upon a river valley, it has amazing views, indoor and outdoor onsen baths, and a well-cared for living area with shining wooden floors, shogi screens, glowing lamps, tatami floors, everything so lovely.
We had a delicious kaiseki dinner of all kinds of Japanese foods. We are (so far) the only westerners here from what we can see, and we could tell people were curious about us coming way out here! What a special experience.
Video and pictures are understandably not allowed in the onsen, but this promotional video from the Takaragawa website shows how amazing this place is year-round:
We visited the segregated indoor onsen tonight- so peaceful. So hot. So steamy and
relaxing. Ah, I can’t wait to eat more good food tomorrow and bathe some more! 🙂 zzZZzzZZ
Tomorrow is Day 9: Learning to Relax, and Sentimental Musings at the Onsen