It was a beautiful afternoon here in Kurokawa,so after an English lesson at one of the ryokan in town I made time to drive round to the San-Ai Kogen Hotel on the outskirts for a quick dip in their outdoor bath before my next class.
The reception at this large hotel was bustling with activity and a coachload of guests from Korea had just arrived,so I hurried downstairs and out of the backdoor leading to a path across the grounds to the outdoor baths. It was like stepping into a different world….
I could hardly believe my luck when I found I was the only bather at this time of the afternoon…..
The water was a perfect temperature and the sun was shining . I relaxed to the sound of birdsong with the bath and the spectacular views all to myself. This must be the most truly `outdoor`bath of all those I have visited so far,with no roof or protection if it rains. It is rather open,but of course you are safely hidden from the eyes of guests in their hotel rooms or passing bikers. I have brought overseas visitors here several times and they enjoyed it very much,but the experience could be less pleasant if you happen to time your arrival with a large number of hotel guests ! I so want to try this bath on a clear night….so I will definitely be back soon for another dip. Remember that if you are using your `Onsen-Hopping Pass` (nyuto tegata in Japanese) you can visit the baths anytime between 8:30am and 9pm,outside of these times the baths are usually reserved for staying guests only.
Would I visit again? yes,and again and again….
Staff: pleasant and spoke a little English