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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…

Malcolm Holcroft
Product advisor for Alfred&

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 & Malcolm Holcroft

Malcolm has always been fascinated with the far east, especially China and has visited five times so far. While he loves exploring the big cities, he also loves getting off the beaten track immersing himself in the local culture. He admits there can be challenges when it comes to things like language but relishes in how beautiful and untouched China still is, in our modern globalised world. One of his favourite activities is people watching in the public parks and he can quickly become absorbed as he observes how differently the people go about their day to day lives. This is a country that will at times throw you out of your comfort zone but will also teach you so much if you let it.

Alfred & our Japan holiday experts

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