Thursday, December 27, 2007

Omaru Ryokan - Nasu, Tochigi

Map Location

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.

More Photos


owenandbenjamin said...

The onsen looks very nice and the price really seems to be pretty good for how nice the onsen looks.

davidfromoz said...

Thanks for your comment Jon!

I always struggle with the price of Ryokans. But on the other hand, you do get two very good meals in that price. And its a very good experience. Omaru is really very good. Especially, if you were just visiting Tochigi for a short time its strongly recommended. I still want to get up to Nikko and try your relative's onsen some time this winter :-)

the soul of japan said...

Impressive. I went here in 2008 as well. I did a day use! Loved it.

davidfromoz said...

Thanks for your comment Tony. Though I feel a bit nervous giving onsen advice to the guy who wrote the book (literally), if you are into hiking, onsens and photography a matter of a few more miles and a few hours walk brings you to Sandogoya, which is also sensational.

tinsol said...

I was thinking about buying a second house in Nasu with friends is it a nice area to live?

davidfromoz said...

Its a very nice place. But I don't have much experience with wider Japan to compare it with. Its got great natural beauty. Its got lots of good infrastructure, its near shinkansen, lot of good restaurants, attractions. Tokyo is not too far away. On the other hand it does get crowded sometimes, its quite built up for a rural retreat. No idea about the price, but I'm guessing its on the expensive side.

Sometimes I wonder about getting a place in Nasu too.