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Things to do in Japan

Getting into hot water in a Yudanaka inn

The best places to stay nourish your body and your soul, and that’s certainly the case at Biyu no Yado…

Tristan Fleming-Froy
Asia travel expert for Alfred& Asia

The best places to stay nourish your body and your soul, and that’s certainly the case at Biyu no Yado in the hot-spring mountain resort of Yudanaka Onsen. It’s a traditional-style ryokan, set in a comfortable modern building, with a reputation for its excellent Japanese breakfasts and kaiseki dinners plus a host of indoor and outdoor pools filled with natural hot-spring mineral water that’s supposed to have all sorts of health benefits.

It’s on the road leading up from the station, so you get spectacular views of the surrounding mountain scenery, but if you want to explore a bit further it’s a little over a mile on foot to the entrance of Jigokudani Yaen Koen, where you can see the famous ‘snow monkeys’ wallowing in their own thermal pool – the only macaques in the world that behave like this. It’s definitely worth the trip, and you don’t even have to walk there if you don’t want to as the hotel will drop you off and pick you up. That said, if you do decide to stretch your legs, your evening soak in one of the two outdoor pools followed by a multi-course meal of exquisite seasonal, regional dishes will be all the more satisfying.

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Alfred & Tristan Fleming-Froy

Tristan is passionate about the Asian way of life and has spent the last 6 years studying Japan and East Asia, learning Japanese and researching international politics, even co-founding a new student organisation at university to promote learning about Asia and Asian culture. In between studying, he has spent much of his time travelling independently across East and Southeast Asia, including 5 months travelling solo around the Southeast Asian peninsula. Tristan also spent a year living in Japan, during which he explored many of Japan’s hidden gems, from tiny bars to forested islands, and summited Mt. Fuji alongside an international group of friends.

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