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Hakone, Japan – Soak Your Cares Away

by onlinebeautyfinds

Hello Everyone!

I believe I’ve mentioned a couple times how much I loved going to Japan for our honeymoon, it’s already been a whole year since that time so I know I’ve a lot of catching up to do blogging wise (I’ve been on 2 trips already since then, eep) but I thought I’d just write about my absolute most favourite part of our honeymoon to Japan (and of all the trips I’ve ever taken to Japan) – our stay at an onsen ryokan in Hakone.

We stayed at Musashino Bekan, a very traditional style Japanese inn. It was my very first time in a ryokan and in an onsen! Now, onsens are hot spring baths and are typically separated by gender as you have to go in absolutely nude. Being kind of shy, my husband and I decided to really splash out and book a suite which meant we had our own little private onsen outside of our room!

I have to say, that one night at Musashino Bekan cost us more than 3 nights in a central hotel in Tokyo but it was utterly worth it. First, they pick you up from the station and drove you to the inn, got shown into a cushy waiting area and served tea and sweets before a stewardess came to you and explained what your stay package entailed. Each guest gets to book a time slot in one of their large private baths as well, so we booked a slot in their largest outdoor bath.

Then you get shown to your room, where you get served more tea and sweets, get changed into the light robes (yukata) that you will wear for your entire stay at the hotel (they make it easy for you to slip out of them and dip into an onsen) and are left alone to your devices until dinner. We bathed so much on that trip! The moment we were left alone we showered and dipped into our private little hot spring bath, then we went to have a dip in the large outdoor private bath, then we had dinner (more on that later), walked around the ryokan at night, took another dip in our bath before bed… soaked again in the morning before breakfast and then after breakfast before we left the ryokan! I guess we were trying to get our money’s worth. Our little private bath was outdoors but the water was so warm that the moment you got up out of it, you saw the steam rising from your skin! It was the most utterly relaxing experience ever.

Dinner and breakfast were a whole other experience! Dinner was a traditional 13 course menu (kaiseki) served in your room, we were absolutely stuffed by the end of it. It included a sashimi course, an abalone course, a rice course, etc etc. Breakfast was an 8 course menu consisting of variations of tofu dishes. Between meals, they made were we were topped up with traditional sweets and lots of good Japanese green tea.

I’m the busiest, most rush-around-and-do-everything sort of person in the world. This onsen ryokan, and most like it, tend to be in the middle of nowhere and there was absolutely nothing to do for a whole 24 hours except soak in the waters and/or drink tea while looking at the beautiful scenery of Hakone. It meant the best quality time on our honeymoon ever and I cannot recommend it enough! I miss it even now but it’s really taught me how to value taking care of myself and taking time out for our relationship.

We’re not going to be able to afford splashing out on a visit to an expensive onsen ryokan again any time soon, so sometimes we try and do a little DIY relaxing hot shower at home (we don’t have a bath tub, more’s the pity) or re create our time in Japan by taking time out of our day to share a cup of tea. One thing I find hard to get in London is proper good Matcha Tea, I bought loads in Japan but that was a year ago and I’ve long since run out. This next bit isn’t sponsored but I was sent this product (which I requested to try, as part of my hunt for good matcha!!).

I was sent this Dream Matcha Tea from Focus Supplements (who also do a whole range of other products, including a comprehensive range of products with Nootropics), it’s meant to be ceremonial grade and while I’m not a professional tea taster I’ve been to a couple of Japanese tea ceremonies and drank a lot of matcha tea, and I’ve really enjoyed this Dream Matcha Tea. Besides drinking it in tea, I also use matcha powder for baking and to make green tea flavoured chocolates. Check out this product if you have been looking for a way to find good, affordable matcha tea outside of Japan!

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