Omaru onsen is our new favorite Ryokan.
We had previously been there for an onsen and decided to book a room for the night. It was a great experience.
We went up there at the end of December and the roads were a bit snowy. But it was no problem getting there at all. The road beyond that point that goes to the top of Mt. Nasu was closed.
Check in time is 2PM. We got there early and had to wait, but it was very pleasant sitting in the waiting area. Check out time is 10AM.
The character of the inn is very appealing. Lots of wood and Japanese decoration. Its a very relaxing, pleasant place. Our room was actually 2 rooms. One for sleeping and one living room. Very comfortable, but, since there are very nice public areas, we spent most of our time outside the room. Even for reading and relaxing.
The onsen is very good. The only negative, the fact that the men's outdoor bath is actually mixed, was really a positive for us since we could bathe outside together. Its quite normal for women to wear a towel wrapped around them, but there are dedicated outdoor women's baths too. They are more beautiful than the mixed area. The pools are big, beautiful and very comfortable.
Dinner was great! The highlight was a fried prawn an tofu cake. But every dish was very good. Breakfast too was good. My favorite part was Nasu milk which was full cream, unhomogenised milk unlike any I have had since I was a kid. The lady serving us was a delight. They had done their homework and had all the courses translated on little cheat sheets for her to announce to us. We bought a bottle of wine with us and they prepared wine glasses and allowed us to drink it with our meal.
The bar was open in the evening with 1/2 an hour of Jazz guitar played by one of the staff which was very good.
Staff at Ryokans are always very welcoming. The people here really went out of their way to make us comfortable. One person there spoke good English.
The total price was 33,250 yen for two people including our cocktails and a bottle of beer we drank while reading our books. Its more than we normally like to pay for Ryokan but it was well worth it. We recommend this onsen for a day visit or for a night away.