Monday, March 2, 2015

Shin-yamane Onsen Beppin-no-yu / 新山根温泉 べっぴんの湯 (2015)

Date of Stay: February 2015
Founded: 1994
Spring Source: Shin-yamane Onsen (新山根温泉)
Spring Type: alkaline sulfur cold mineral spring (アルカリ性単純硫黄冷鉱泉)
Source Temperature: 10.5 Celsius
pH Value: 10.8

The Small Bath (小浴場).

[1] Hot Spring Bath: 3 out of 5
Due to its strong alkaline quality, I felt my finger surface slimy only a few seconds after putting myself in the tub. Since the spring source is cold, they add hot water to raise its temperature, but I didn't feel it warm enough. The Big Bath was modern and had nothing special about it, but the Small Bath was made of Khiva (ヒバ) wood, giving the onsen a soothing scent.

The Big Bath (大浴場).

[2] Guestroom: 3 out of 5
Simple traditional Japanese tatami-style rooms. Well-maintained and kept clean, though some tatami mats were starting to show its age. The room had a TV, a telephone that connects to the front desk, and a safe to keep valuables. No welcome snacks were offered. We needed to lay down our futon mats by ourselves.

Our guestroom.

[3] Dinner: 2 out of 5
First, all guests needed to eat in the dining hall (table and chairs) and could not take food to our guestrooms. We had ordered a top-tier course for dinner with Iwate beef with Sanriku area's famous Noda-shio (のだ塩) salt. But unfortunately, the beef was small, and we didn't feel anything special about it. Sashimi wasn't fresh, and most of the food, except for the miso soup and rice, had been prepared and were cold. Staff asked the time of dinner upon checking in, so most guests would expect a warm meal. Proportions were adequate.

Our dinner.

[4] Breakfast: 2 out of 5
Again, everything but the soup and rice was cold. A very ordinary Japanese breakfast. We needed to eat in the dining hall.

Our breakfast.

[5] Staff: 3 out of 5
Although the lady who took a photo of us in the lobby upon checking out was kind, we found most other staff not so. I asked a few questions regarding the history of the onsen, but they didn't seem eager to tell me, even though they didn't have any other guests to serve.

The lobby. The gift shop sells local products.

[6] Cost: 4 out of 5
9,000 JPY (including 8% sales tax & 150 JPY onsen tax) per person including a top-tier dinner course plus breakfast is inexpensive for an onsen ryokan. But again, the food wasn't the best after all. The cost included a 500 JPY coupon that could be used at the gift shop that sold local products.

Shin-yamane onsen is secluded in the mountains.

[1]-[6] Overall: 2.8 out of 5
Definitely not the worst, but if I had other choices, there wouldn't be any reason for me to stay here again.

The beautiful Ryusendo Caves (龍泉洞) are just 33 kilometers away.

〒028-8521 岩手県久慈市山根町下戸鎖4-5-1
4-5-1 Shimo-tokusari, Yamane-cho, Kuji-shi, IWATE, 028-8521

Telephone: +81 (0)194 57 2222