Arrived in Ginzan Onsen area.
Ginzan Onsen is a small town that located in Yamagata Prefecture. It’s called Silver Mountain Hot Springs because the town is very popular as a hot spring / onsen town. Almost all the buildings along the river are ryokan. Long time ago, this city was a silver mine area which made it called Ginzan or silver.
You can soak your feet here at the hot spring by the river for free!
All passengers walked to the ryokan while our van drove until the ryokan gate to drop all the luggage. There is no parking space in Ginzan due to the narrow road. Many years ago, when there are no car invention yet, the road is only meant for pedestrian. Which is why, staying in this area is so peaceful and fresh without air pollution and vehicles.
in front of Fujiya ryokan
It started to snowfall as we walked to our ryokan. I was so excited because it will be my first onsen experience. Mr. F rushly walked to our ryokan, Notoya-ryokan as the snow falls. I was still excited to take lots of photos while it’s snowfall. It was so beautiful that I can’t resist capturing the moment and ignore the cold weather. It’s easy to spot which one is Notoya-ryokan. It’s the only ryokan with the red bridge!
At the entrance, the ryokan staff greeted us friendly. Before entering the lobby area, we needed to change our shoes into the indoor sandals. This is Japanese culture, so it’s a must to follow. Don’t worry to lose your shoes, because the staff will keep it for you at the shoes cabinet. It seems that they are trained to remember the customer faces.
On the left side of the entrance, there are some sofas for customer to wait or warm themselves while drinking the hot ocha they served. There is a small souvenir shop if customers want to buy something as a memento.
Notoya-ryokan has total 9 rooms for customers. Even with only 9 rooms, Notoya-ryokan manages to get full booked all the time. It’s quite competitive when do the bookings. It is because Notoya opened the booking only 2 months in advance. So if you are not fast enough, other people will take your room instead.
Since it’s ryokan, there will be no wifi or internet here. So spend the peaceful life here far from all the hectic from work and busy city life.
As we enter our room, just like the lobby, we have a room that is meant to be an ‘entrance area’ where we take off our sandals, drop and store our luggage on the right side (inside traditional built-in sliding wooden cabinet) , on the left of the door is the toilet. The built-in cabinet is the same type like in the Doraemon movie where Doraemon sleeps. Sorry did not take photo here due to small area and I only brought fix lens with me. 😦
As you enter another sliding door to the main room, the view is like in the photo above. Sorry it’s already messy because of us. Hehe
There were a large coffee table, two floor-cushions with back rest, a heater, ocha table at the corner right and a tray of our yukata and set of bath necessities. As a welcome greet from Notoya, there is a green tea mochi on the table and Notoya-ryokan map for each floor.
The most exciting thing in the room is that we got the balcony! So the photo above showing the 4 sliding doors. You can slide all the doors to get the bigger view. Behind these doors, there is 2 chairs with a coffee table. A great place to view the town while enjoying the hot tea.
There is also the tea leaves or the tea bags for you to choose before brew your tea. We chose the tea leaves and brew it in the tea-pot.
Drinking the hot tea while eating the red bean mochi with green tea paste.
These are the yukata for man and woman. Mr. F’s yukata is slightly smaller for his body because it showed his socks. While mine is bigger for my body, I should roll the sleeves if I wanted to grab something. Notoya gave us a pair of socks / Tabi (足袋). Tabi is a traditional Japanese socks which separates the thumb and the other fingers. In Japan, they think that it’s impolite if you show your bare feet in front of other people. So people in Japan still wearing their socks inside the house while wearing the indoor sandals / except in the bedroom.
That’s all for today’s post! Will share with you guys about the ryokan amazing dinner! Prepare yourself to drool!
〒999-4333 Yamagata Prefecture, Obanazawa, Ginzanshinhata, 446