-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
Higashiyama Onsen (or hot spring resort) is located only 10 minutes away by car from the center of Aizu-Wakamatsu. According to the city’s site, it’s told that a Buddhist monk founded this hot spring about 1300 years ago.
This high class established Japanese inn, Mukaitaki, was handed down from the lord of the Aizu domain. The traditional buildings are registered as a cultural property.
As a matter of fact, our hotel was not that one but Shintaki in the picture below. We couldn’t afford to stay Mukaitaki, but Shintaki, one of another historical Inns, was available at a reasonable cost.
Shintaki was a former private villa of the Aizu domain.
This inn accepted afflicted people and evacuees in Fukushima nuclear plant 's neighborhood immediately after the Earthquake, for free at the beginning, and later, as a publicly-run evacuation center. Now there is no refugee because they’ve already moved to temporary housing.
Left: The inn is built along a river, allowing us to enjoy a riverside view from a bathtub.
Right: This tub is special because the hot spring water is naturally gushing from the bottom of it. I most wanted to take it.
We had a dinner at an eating facility with other guests. At a Japanese style inn, a small group of guests mostly had dinner in a guest room. It was a standard dining style (a serving ladies bring dishes to your room), and some inns keep it. However, these days, many inns have adopted this new style. Do you notice people in the photo wear the same clothes? It’s called Tanzen, a cover-up wear for Kimono. In hot spring resorts, every Japanese style inn prepares Tanzen and Yukata (light cotton kimono) as amenities. After checking in, we change into Yukata and go to a bathing area. If it’s cool, we wear Tanzen, too. You can go anywhere inside an inn with Yukata and Tanzen and also outside, as long as it’s within a resort area.
There was a lending service of colorful Yukata other than one in a room. I selected this one in the photo.