My mom came from Belarus to visit me here in Japan. We had a very tight schedule because she wanted to see a lot of places, but what I wanted to show her for sure was an onsen. There are numerous onsens here in Japan, but I had to pick the best.
I decided on the onsen I've already been to. It is called Hama no Yu (浜の湯), and it's located in the central part of Izu Peninsula to the south-west of Tokyo. We went by car this time, but you can easily get there by train. It takes about 2 hours from Tokyo.
Arriving around 3 pm, we were met by friendly staff at the entrance of the hotel. From the lobby window the only view you can see is the endless ocean covering the horizon. It feels like you are somewhere on the edge of Earth. Very beautiful! Even breath-taking!
We were then shown to our room, which was equipped with its own bath with the hot spring water. Every room in the hotel has this feature, so you can enjoy a natural bath in private as well as in the public area.
The hot spring at Hama no Yu contains a lot of sodium (Na). After an hour spent soaking in it, the skin became very smooth. Later we had an oil massage course. There is a Korean esthe on the 3d floor where all the therapists are Korean.
At 7 pm, when everybody was pretty hungry, we were served dinner. The food is the main reason a lot of customers come to Hama no Yu. The dining room is also called taberu oyado, which means eating place. The food is absolutely amazing! Even the mayor of Tokyo comes here to enjoy the seafood.
Dinner started with extremely fresh sashimi served in a wooden boat. This was followed by steamed awabi with butter sauce, and then the main dish, which Izu is famous for: kinmedai (gold-eye fish or alfonsino) cooked in sweet-soy sauce. Everything was delicious, and we washed it down with some of the local sake (a little fruity, but a nice match with the food). The quantity of the dishes is quite large. What I advise is to eat approximately 80 percent of each dish served, otherwise there is no way to try it all!
The next day was the last day of Mom's trip to Japan. She had to go back to Belarus, but no doubt she was impressed by the ending of her vacation thanks to Hama no Yu!