Kojima Ryokan (嶽温泉 小島旅館) in Dake Onsen

Kojima Ryokan (嶽温泉 小島旅館) in Dake Onsen is one of those little treasures we came across during our road trip of Aomori onsen and we had the best of times. Dake Onsen is located just next to the entrance of the Iwaki-san Skyway road winding up towards the summit of Mount Iwaki so there are plenty of reasons to visit.

The ryokan has the feel of a Shōwa period building and it is run like a family-style place: very friendly, very homely.

The baths are nice and hot and the food was the best we had during our trip. By this time I really was getting used to the hot onsen waters that are common in Aomori and really enjoyed it. As for the food, I can still taste the rice we had, cooked with mushrooms and vegetables, so delicious! Dinner came with a choice of the local sake too, it really was great.

Everything considered, of all the onsen we visited during our road trip of Aomori onsen, I liked the hearty food of Kojima Ryokan best. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just really, really good food!
Among the secret onsen I listed, this one ranks among the top!

 

(I liked the way they used the hot onsen water to clean the area in front of the ryokan building of ice and snow by just leading a hose of hot water through a pipe with some holes in that cleaned the ice nicely. Have a look again at the first photo to see what I mean. Everywhere else was ice and snow, the front of the Kojima Ryokan was snow free. 🙂 )

Koganezakifurōfushi Hot Spring (黄金崎不老ふ死温泉)

Eventually we came down from the mountains and out of the snow at the end of our road trip along the onsen of Aomori in Northern Tōhoku and made our way to the Sea of Japan.
Koganezakifurōfushi Hot Spring (黄金崎不老ふ死温泉) in Fukaura-machi is famous for its bath right at the edge of the Sea of Japan. At high-tide and with a bit of wind, the waves lap into the bath.

The hotel has several baths but the one that sets this onsen apart is the one at the sea side. The right side of the bath is women-only, the other bath is mixed and lots of people, mostly couples, gather in the bath in the evening to watch the sunset together. If you visit and it is a nice day, check on the local time of the sunset as we just could watch the spectacle of the sun setting in the Sea of Japan before we had to be at the restaurant for our dinner.

This is not an old-style Japanese ryokan but a normal hotel, the rooms are likewise western. Our room overlooked the Sea of Japan with the famous bath below the room; nice for photography. 🙂 Dinner and breakfast were more than fine, nothing exceptional, but you have to take into account that we were at the end of a long road trip along the best onsen of Northern Tōhoku and had gorged on the best food a ryokan can offer, we were spoiled.
In the evening somebody played the shamisen in the hotel lobby, but with extraordinary gusto; I never heard the shamisen played like this, really enjoyable!

I don’t remember how many times I soaked in that bath, but way too many times! 🙂