Osawa Onsen Hotel
An atmospheric and calm inn in a remote area of Izu, not far from the port of Matsuzaki and the diving spot of Kumomi.
web - www.osawaonsen.co.jp
address - 153-1 Osawa, Matsuzaki-cho, Shizuoka-ken
phone - 0558-43-0121
Google map with location
The main building of the ryokan was built more than 330 years ago, and is remarkable for it contains no a single nail. From the outside, the main building looks rather discreet, and it is only upon entering that the beauty of the place is revealed.
Behind the main building is located a long garden with a small pond. Two old storehouses are found there, the kome-kura (rice storehouse, now an archive library serving as a mini-museum, built at the same time as the main building) and the miso-kura (miso storehouse, now a coffee shop, build around 200 years ago). Both are well worth a visit, as they represent a great example of Edo-period architecture. Around this garden are also located the oldest - and most expensive - guest rooms of the ryokan. For example, special guests, artists and writers were accommodated on the second floor of the dogu-kura (a storehouse built to keep antiques collected by successive family heads); this rooms is now called tempo-no-ma and available for guests.
A little further are several more modern buildings with more guest rooms. The Kinu-ya (silk building) has more reasonably priced rooms (those are the cheapest rooms of the ryokan), which includes a small irori around which guests have their dinner. This is the room we choose, and can definitively recommend it.
The main building and the storehouses were designated by the Japanese government as an important cultural asset in 1999.
Food varies with the room selected... and obviously the season. Usually, seafood and fish are served.
We found the food to be nice, but not as extraordinary as you can get in some luxurious ryokan. The picture, taken from the official web site, displays the dinner of a top-end room... Expect something less gorgeous is you stay in the cheaper wings...
Osawa Onsen Hotel is famous for its onsen, too. The oldest baths are entirely made of cypress, and so is the floor around the bath. Add to this the presence of large plants, and you will understand that bathing there is a real pleasure. Only one outside bath is available is this section, which means that either men or women have only a uchi buro.
There are now a brand new set of rotenburo built on the roof of a new wing. Those rotenburo offer a great view and are perfect at night...
Check this link
for precise information. If you come by public transportation, you will need to take a bus from Shimoda (40 minutes, every 30 minutes), Rendaiji (30 minutes) or Matsuzaki (10 minutes). Alternatively, the ryokan organises a transportation once a day from Rendaiji station.
Well-located, this ryokan is at a reasonable distance from most of the greatest points of Izu. If you go so far, you definitively should visit the West Coast of Izu
... Don't miss Shimoda, too.
can be made directly from the web site of the ryokan - a 500-coupon is available is you reserve by internet.
Prices vary between 23'000 - 30'000 yens for the Edo period rooms, and between 18'000 and 22'000 yens for the more modern wings (including dinner and breakfast, price for 2 persons per room).