28 March 2012

Tokyo/Kinugawa Onsen March 2012 - Part III

Continued from Part I and II.

Our dinner was at 7pm at a common dining room with 3 other families. There were 3 timings to choose from, 6pm, 6.30pm or 7pm and we chose the latest timing. When we arrived at the dining room, the other 3 families were already halfway through their meals.

The appetisers were already pre-set at our table. Most of the time, we didn't know the ingredients of what we were eating, but they sure tasted good!
There was a small cup of wine below the coaster. Just took a sip since I was going for onsen after dinner, and I couldn't drink anyway.
Appetiser - some kind of cold tofu topped with yuba (specialty of the Tochigi Prefecture) in some kind of barley broth/sauce. Quite light and refreshing.
Appetisers - some pickles, fishcake, sweet dried fish wrapped with kelp (the one in the centre).
Appetiser - pickled cabbage, carrot and cucumber, with brinjal and a sauce (couldn't remember what now).
Sides - Braised yuba, beancurd and bamboo shoot.
Very very fresh sashimi. The prawn (was it nama abi or ama abi, couldn't remember) was semi-cooked, cooked on the outside while inside was still raw.
Rice, soup and pickles. The rice was so fluffy but I had to resist having more as there were simply too many dishes.
Love the Japanese pickles.
Main - Grilled fish and surprisingly, the brown piece on the right tasted like cake. Initially I thought it looked like otah otah but the texture was cakey though it was not sweet.
Main - Tempura fish and veg. The fish was trout, according to the host. Very nice!
Main - Claypot beef, with leeks, mushroom, corn and veg.
And finally dessert - a jelly-like beancurd, plain and blueberry flavour. At the end of the meal, we were so full we could barely walk! It's been a long while since we had such a sumptuous and heavy meal!
We took a slow walk back to the room where the futons were already laid for us. I had an hour to go before my massage appointment. So I quickly made my way to the onsen for a quick soak, before heading for the massage, whereas hubby lazed in the room.

After a nice warm soak and 45 mins of blissful massage, I went back to the room and fell asleep very soon after.

The next morning, our breakfast was supposed to be 8.30am. Once again, 3 timings to choose from 7.30am, 8 or 8.30am and we chose the latest again :p
I woke up at 7.30am since I slept quite early. Decided to go for a pre-breakfast soak in the onsen, since we were going to check out soon after breakfast. Hubby decided to continue his sleep.

8.30am, we were back to the dining room. The other 3 families had more or less finished their breakfast.
Look at the whole table of food again! After the heavy dinner last night, we didn't really have the appetite to finish so much food! And we weren't used to such heavy breakfast anyway. But well, we tried not to waste too much lah. And the food was once again delicious.
Veg cooked in light broth. There was bamboo shoot, burdock, carrot, peas, fish ball and yam ball (the one in light brown).
Cold noodles.
Another type of yuba.
Couldn't remember what this was. I think there were some bits of fish and veg.
Jap wild roots (veg).
Smoked salmon, pickles and bacon. The bacon was nice! The little parcel at the bottom left corner was some sort of sweet bean.
Chawanmushi, very smooth and custardy. I finished the whole thing.
Soft boiled rice in light broth. Very soothing for the stomach.
Handmade tofu with a tinge of ginger.
Miso soup.

Yogurt. More watery than our usual yogurt, slightly tangy and refreshing. We finished only half the amount of food on the table :(

After breakfast, we still had about an hour before check-out. Hubby went for a dip at the onsen, whereas I walked around the garden to take some photos.

The lovely garden.

It was quite cold, but the Ojiisan was cleaning the pond.
Beautiful koi.
Someone left a snowman at the bench.
The sound from the river was quite loud, could see that current quite strong.
Is this a pine cone? We don't see this in Singapore.

Water droplets on tree branches.
Blanket of snow covering the flowers.
I love the beautiful sight of the water droplets hanging at the tips of the branches. Well, my camera couldn't capture the essence of the sight.
Pretty little flowers at the lobby area.

Soon, it was time to check out (10am). Hope we could be back some day. I thought we had a pretty good deal, for the room as well as the meals, at 26300 yen for 2 pax (about $400).

The ryokan arranged this charming bus to take us to the Kinugawa Onsen Station.
We've been here many years ago, when we went to Yunishigawa Onsen and upon departure, came to this particular station for our return train.
A free foot spa near the station.
Just as we were about to leave, the sky cleared and the weather turned warmer. So, we were really lucky to catch the last bit of snow and cold weather.

We boarded the train bound for Shinjuku and slept the most of the journey. By the time we reached Shinjuku, it was close to 1pm. I wanted to shop at Isetan first, so parted ways with hubby and agreed to meet at 3pm at Shibuya Station. After a fruitful shopping trip at Isetan, headed back to Shibuya and met up with hubby.

Our super late lunch/early dinner was at this sushi bar at Shibuya. Was famished and forgot to take any photos of the sushi we ate :p Between the 2 of us, we ate like 20 plates of sushi! Couldn't find such fresh and cheap sushi in Singapore. In Japan, when we eat sushi, the amount of rice is just a little bit with large slice of fish, but in Singapore, it is the opposite.

So after the meal, we went back to Shibuya Excel Hotel, fetched our luggage and took the airport limousine bus to Narita Airport. Finally, back home after a whirlwind 4D3N getaway, shopped and ate till we dropped and a luggage filled with precious cargo :p

Stay tuned for the final part, my shopping haul!


  1. You go on some amazing holidays!

  2. I keep coming back for your travel (specially Japan travel!) blogs! Thanks for sharing!