My 25th Birthday
What better way to wake up on your birthday than being surrounded by the natural beauty of Japan? There was no sleeping in (for me anyways) that day. I stepped out onto the balcony to find this gorgeous view of the sun slowly rising. Air was fresh, it was peaceful and all you could hear were the birds singing.
Very first thing I do the moment I stepped out of our room? Not breakfast, but to head straight for the private baths. This was like 6ish-7am in the morning and I was probably the first one awake since they were all available. I took a peek into each one and this bath seemed the most relaxing (sneaky photos of the other ones below)
I was only here, by myself for about 10-15minutes (you really can’t stay too long in these baths, well me anyways.. I start to get dizzy after a while because its so hot), sitting in there and feel like all the stress and tension just escaped my body. Its been a tiring few months of work, so at that moment I was so glad that I took time off to just relax, on my birthday.
They had a souvenir store at the lobby of this ryokan.
I think this was sardine, which we had to put over the grill. So simple but I loved it.
I can’t tell you what each thing is in this plate, some where yum.. some were not..
I love freshly made miso soup in Japan.
I loved experience a Japanese breakfast although some of the dishes tasted weird, poor Alfred I think he really was put out of his comfort zone eating these strange dishes! (I hope he will still go with me to have Japanese style banquets when we go back again in the future!)
How you can tell if the baths are available. If the light is off (I think) that means its available). You can borrow towels as well if you forget to bring the ones from your room.
Free apple juice! (in a yakult like bottles) after you get out of the baths just to help you cool down and rehydrate.
Time to leave 🙁 So sad.
We were only there for probably less than 18hours, but enjoyed every second of it! Highly recommend this ryokan to those who are considering to experience the hot springs. Although it may not seem as ‘traditional’, I loved all the extra facilities they provide that you don’t normally find, from the free yakult (apparently sometimes ice blocks) to free ramen at night. Next time we go back to Hakone, I’d like to stay at a ryokan for at least 2 nights! 1 is simply a teaser 🙁
We made our long journey to Tokyo, the last leg of our Japan trip.
We stayed at Remm hotel in Akihabara, right above the station so it was super convenient. We were a little too early for check in time so we left our bags there and went to get some rather late lunch. Our friend had recommended us try this ramen place in Ikebukuro, which I didn’t plan on visiting since the there wasn’t much to see there… but for Ramen we will go.
Stepping out of Ikebukuro station, we set out to find Mutekiya ,which was about a 4min walk from the station exit, just after Seibu Gallery.
I didn’t do my research on this place so when handed the menu, I wasn’t so sure which was the famous one so I had to ask the waiter. I even forgot which one it was now that I’m trying to remember -.- but no worries! Their top 3 ramens are displayed at the front of the shop.
If you take a peek into the shop, you’ll understand why the queues are so long… not because its amazing but because it really is a small place. Thank goodness for wide angle lens.
What I love about having ramen in Japan – there are so many different types, also depending which part of Japan they originate from. I especially loved the soup of this one..
Love that floral skirt…
We checked out BIC camera in Ikebukuro, and we could literally be in there for hours if we weren’t in a rush to get back to hotel. We probably went into more BIC cameras, and Tokyu Hands stores the most during our time in Tokyo.
Checked into the hotel before the sun sets. We’ve been pretty lucky getting some nice views at all our accommodations in Japan. Our hotel in Akihabara overlooks the station and during the day you can pretty much see most of the main buildings in the area, e.g. SEGA building.
Outfit of the Night: My $20something maxi dress from H&M Japan, favourite necklace from Doury Accessories, denim jacket from Dotti.
Birthday night, first day in Tokyo and had no idea where we could eat in the area without going too far. So we decided to just check out some of the restaurants around the hotel. Didn’t note down which one we ended up going to (traveler-fail). The descriptions of dishes on their menu didn’t sound so enticing (too used to the fancy pants words they use back home) and there wasn’t many dishes we were familiar with besides sashimi and tempura. When they served up the dishes we were taken back by how pretty they were presented… definitely looked better than the photos in the menu for a change! It looked pretty healthy too and not too oily.
Assorted sashimi (1190¥)
Deep fried white-meat fish with sweet chilli kudzu sauce (780¥)
Seared thick cut beef tongue (1280¥)
Pan-fried rice cake and eggplant with shrimp kudzu sauce (680¥)
The dishes were different to what we’re used to getting in Japanese restaurant but it was nice getting to sample Japanese cuisine. Price was ended up to be about the same as in Australia, some things were more expensive e.g. the ox tongue but some things weren’t too bad e.g. assorted sashimi. It may not have been the most festive birthday, and we didn’t fine dine at a popular restaurant to end my birthDay (because celebrations continued…) I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with my other half that day 🙂
No cake on my birthday because it was surprisingly hard to find a decent cake in the area! which we weren’t familiar with on our first day…. don’t worry Alfred made up for it later on.. 😛
Check back soon for day 7!