"Pure ocean, pure relaxation, pure life"
Inubousaki Kankou Hotel
Inubousaki Kanko Hotel (photo credit: Masataka Ishizaki).
Chiba Kun Ambassadors wrapped out the final tour of the year at Inubousaki Kankou Hotel. No, we were not there to stay overnight, but to dip ourselves into its famous natural hot spring, more commonly known in Japan as onsen (温泉). Public bathing in hot springs is a popular activity in Japan, especially during the cold winter season. Soaking in a hot spring is one of the most enjoyable ways to initiate deep healing and rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit.
I have to admit, when I first came to Japan, I never felt comfortable about the idea of getting naked in front of strangers and taking a bath. Having brought up in an environment like Malaysia, this practice is considered very awkward. Therefore, I never tried the onsen in Japan, until I entered my third year living in Japan.
The hot spring for legs outside the hotel (photo credit: Masataka Ishizaki).
Very well furnished lobby, which offers a wonderful view of the beach and ocean.
You can catch the sight of Inubousaki Lighthouse from the hotel, which I visited two years ago.
And trust me, that was one of the best decision I have ever made. I instantly fell in love with onsen. Winter is the time I eagerly wait each year, because this is the time of the year where I will usually pay multiple visits to the hot spring place. To most of my friends who have not tried it, just give it a try. After all, onsen is probably the only place where you can go naked in the public, yet not get caught by the law hahaha!
Back to the onsen of Inubousaki, it is not like any other usual onsen because here, filtered and treated sea water are used in the hot spring bath. Besides Inubousaki Kankou Hotel, there are three other hotels around this area that offers similar experience to the visitors, namely Inubousaki Hotel (犬吠埼ホテル), Hotel New Daishin (ホテルニュー大新), and Gyokeikan Hotel (ぎょうけい館ホテル).
The entrance to the guys' hot spring bath room.
Part of the certificates that recognise the high quality of the hot spring in this hotel.
What makes these hotel popular among the visitors is the exclusive experience to enjoy the beautiful ocean while dipping into the hot spring. Also, visitors who stay in the hotel will have the rare experience to watch the sunrise early in the morning while they dip themselves in the hot spring. The sunrise in Inubousaki by the way, is the earliest in Japan, which makes it a famous spot on New Year's Day, because everyone would come here to catch the first sunrise of the year.
For beginners, I will briefly explain about what you usually do once you walk pass that cloth that hangs over the entrance.
- First of all, take off all your clothes in the changing room. When I said all, I mean all. Everything. Put your clothes in the locker, basket, or on the shelf. If you are using public facilities, make sure not to leave any valuables in unlocked areas. Small lockers for valuables are often available.
- Enter the bathroom with a small towel and your amenities. I am not sure about the ladies, but for guys, the little towel we have is usually enough to cover the critical section. Before getting in the bathtub, scoop out some water from the bathtub using a bucket and rinse your body, or rinse your body using tap water in front of faucet.
- Wash your body or hair and rinse off soap and shampoo well before you get in the bathtub.
- Get in the bathtub. It is proper etiquette in public facilities not to put a towel in the bathtub. Just leave it on the side of the bathtub, or simply place it on your head.
- Rinse your body with tap water in front of faucet. Dry your body with your small towel before you enter the changing room. Please remember not to drain the bathtub water when you are finished unless you are told to do so.
- Dry your body with your bath towel and dress in the changing room.
No photograph is possible inside the hot spring. So this is how this wonderful place looks like. (Note: The lady is not part of the package).
There are eight types of different bath tub in Inubousaki Kankou Hotel, three each for the guys and ladies, one private bath tub and one at the entrance which is called ashiyu (足湯) for the legs. There are two kinds of bath tubs for the guys and ladies, inside and outside one called rotenburo (露天風呂). Needless to say, the one outside is the most popular as visitors get to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean while dipping their body in the hot spring. It was indeed a very relaxing experience after our long day tour.
This is one of the place where you will to want to miss out when you visit Inubousaki. And I am already planning my next trip here, because the weather is still cold.
We were given a complementary ice cream after our hot dip.
One last group photo of the Chiba Kun Ambassadors before we head back to Chiba (photo credit: Ayako Uchiyama).
|| INFORMATION ||
Inubousaki Kankou Hotel (犬吠埼観光ホテル)
Opening hours: 12:00 - 19:00 (closed at 20:30)
Price: 1,000 yen (adult), 600 yen (children) from Mon to Fri; 1,200 yen (adult), 800 yen (children) for Sat, Sun and national holidays.
Mio Tsukushi Private Bath (澪つくし貸切温泉)
Opening hours: 12:00 - 20:00 (reservation required)
Price: 3,150 yen (for 2 person for 50 minutes)
※ Price may vary depending on number of people and day. Please contact directly for details.
Tel: 0479-23-5111 (09:00 - 20:00)
Website: http://www.inubou.co.jp (Japanese only)
Address: 10293, Inubousaki, Choshi-shi Chiba Prefecture, 288-0012, Japan.
① Train: From JR Choshi station (JR 銚子駅):
# Choshi Dentetsu (銚子電鉄) (20 minute-ride) (for Togawa station 外川行き), get down at Inubo station (犬吠駅).
# From Tokyo (東京): Kanto-Higashi Expressway (関東東自動車道), exit Itako IC (潮来 IC), take Route 124 to Route 356 via Choshi Ohashi Bridge (銚子大橋) (approximately 1 hour) to Choshi・Inubousaki.
# From Tateyama・Kamogawa (館山・鴨川): From Tateyama・Kamogawa to Chiba Ichinomiya (千葉一宮) via Route 128 (approximately 60 minutes), then head to Kujukuri Beach Line (九十九里ビーチライン) via Kujukuri Paid Road (九十九里有料道路) approximately 30 minutes, then head to Choshi・Inubousaki (銚子・犬吠埼) via Route 126 (approximately 50 minutes).
③ Express bus: From Hamamatsucho bus terminal (浜松町バスターミナル) to Tokyo station Yaesu Exit (東京駅八重洲口)
# Board bus for Inubo (犬吠行き), bus ride takes approximately 2 hours.