When traveling to Japan, you cannot miss the hot spring (onsen). There are several famous onsen in Japan, the one closet to Tokyo must be Hakone. The best way to experience onsen is to stay with a ryokan, which is a Japanese traditional hotel provides onsen.
After a deep consideration, we finally decided to book Yama No Chaya 山の茶屋 in Tonosawa, one of the seven great hot springs of Hakone, which can be found by the bridge that crosses over the Hayakawa River.
The closest train station is 塔ノ沢 (Tonosawa), and you can either walk to the ryokan or take the bus. You will see this bridge once you get off the bus, and Yama No Chaya is right in the front.
The lobby is small but hommie. For reservations, you can go to their website and drop the them an email. The staffs were very warm and patient. You don’t need to pay the room rate in advance but they do need your credit card information for guarantee. Both breakfast and dinner are included, and you can inform them with any allergies.
We had the special room with private onson and a view of the mountain., we can also enjoy the complimentary public bigger onsen if we want.
Cheers with a cup of welcome hot tea!
We arrived around dinner time, and the waitress started to prepare dinner for us.It was a Kaiseki dinner with over 20 courses. All the ingredients are freshly catched, all the vegetables are planted by the ryokan backyard.
Strongly recommended by the staff, the homemade plum wine was really good – sweet and with a lovely twist of sourness.
At the same time, the waitress brought each of us a clay pots with uncooked rice, prepare to cook them by the table.
Sashimi was really fresh and tender, the picture tells you everything.
The signature soup was at Yama No Chaya was seriously WOW. The fish ball was moist,smooth and have a deep flavor. Even the clear soup was so umami.
Tempura, grilled fish and simmered fish
Our claypot rice with seasonal vegetables and fish was ready. With a little burnt smell and a crispy bottom, we were so moouthwatering.
I am not a rice lover, but i really love this one, especially the crispy rice on the bottom!
Dessert was strawberry pudding.
After dinner, we went to the public onsen . Although it is called public, but actually only two of us were there because you have to make reservation for that. It was cold outside, but really enjoyable with hot onsen.
Once we went back to our room, the beddings of tatami was already prepared by the server. So hommie.
The waitress woke us up at 8:30am for breakfast.
Firstly, she started to preparing mountain vegetable soup for us in a claypot!
Then comes the most flourishing breakfast ever. It was seriously included in the standard room rate. Here we got rice congee, the soup she just cooked (left side), grilled fish, simmered fish (inside the yellow container), fruit, pickles, and a kit of appetizers.
After the breakfast, my mom enjoyed a talk with each other and had some tea in our balcony, with a stunning view of the greens outside.
Yama No Chaya 山の茶屋