Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yunessun Spa in Hakone Japan. Onsen family trip.

We had been quietly planning this trip to Hakone since 2 weeks before Noah's undokai. One thing I love about the gaijin community in Japan is how much information we share with one another. No matter, if you're here because of marriage or for the military, the help we do with info share wise is always one reason I enjoy blogging so much. Around 6 month's to a year or so ago, I read on Alisa's blog about this amazing onsen her family had went to, the Yunessun. Definitely not your typical run of the mil onsen that I've ever been to that's for sure. Huge big bottle of wine, huge tea pot. Great big milk. Reminded me almost of a half Willy Wonka-ish" type world if he were to make an onsen that is. ; ) I showed my husband and he was amazed by how cool it was, he mentioned we should go there some day. Then many many months passed. And then we finally started using those travel coupons you know. And we got to thinking. I bet they have hotels that would take our vouchers. And sure enough there were like 7-8 hotels that would in the Hakone mountain area. So we picked the hotel we liked best and made our reservation, before my MIL even came down here for the undokai. Finally weeks passed and a month passed. And it was time for us to prepare. So last Friday evening after we ate the teriyaki sandwiches. I baked some homemade Nestle tollhouse cookies with pecans. For the trip. I had also gathered up a small snack bag of goodies we might need for our trip to Hakone. Cheese crackers, pasta soups, chicken cup of noodle, coffee, homemade cookies, peanuts, etc. We didn't need even half the snacks I brought, with so much to eat there, but it was still peace of mind bringing them though. Especially since it was just our first time being there.
The dvd's got here before our trip. The new Nightmare on Elm street on the left. Which Noboru and I will watch this weekend after the boys go to sleep. And Toy Story 3, we took for the long car ride to Hakone with us.
So Sunday morning we woke up at 6am and we were packed already and so we left around 6:30am. It was a couple hour drive with taking the highway all the way there. This picture was taken at the base of the mountain.
And up the mountain we went.
There was this cafe on the mountain. There was also a large bakery that was packed. A Family Mart right next/across to the Yunessun Spa (the fun onsen). There was a Daily Yamazaki. A few other cafes and restaurants we saw too. There is plenty to eat in Hakone. And at the Yunessun, spa there is a lot to eat and choose from.
We heard that there are tourists by the heaps. And that was totally indeed true. In fact, we were there Sunday and Monday hoping for a dead/meaning not many people. And there were still people galore. See all the buses. So, if it's that busy on a weekday. I can only imagine how packed it would be on a weekend. @_@
The Yunessun.

A coffee onsen. The water was very hot and it smelled totally like coffee.

Enjoying the waterfall bath.

Standing on the hot marble.
I've heard of people soaking in the tub with a glass of wine before. But this takes the cake!!! : ) This was so cool. As I soaked in here, I would watch peoples facial expressions and reactions as they passed this particular onsen. Their face would light up, or they'd crack up and point. Or take a picture of the great big wine bottle and the cool onsen. Everyone had the same reaction. We did too. I was downright @_@ when I first saw it. This was such a nice place to soak.
Happy boys.

What a great way to spend a Sunday. : )
At special times they had a performance of sorts. A man brought out 3 bottles of wine and poured it into every ones hands. He poured it into all 4 of our hands. And we smelled it and yes it was indeed wine.

This green tea bath got me, I loved it! It was so intensely bright green. And the temperature was so nice and hot. It also smelled so amazing. I sat in here the longest time. Ahhh. : ) Yes they had to say on the bottom of this sign..... do not drink. Because it smelled so wonderful. : )
You always hear how good milk is for your skin. Right? I hear that too. : ) And so I soaked a good long time in here too.
Just couldn't keep away from the green tea one though.
Great big tea cup. And the cool Fall weather was perfect weather for soaking in the onsen. The little waterfall in the back of the onsen where green tea came out.
Great big tea pot.
Noboru told remember "Spirited Away" when they lit the fire underneath the big bath? And I said yeah. This reminded him of that. ; ) Meanwhile I kept half expecting Gene Wilder with top hat and purple coat to pop out at any moment singing..."Pure imagination" (if you wanna view paradise...simply look around and view it). Or to pass me a Scrumpdiddlyumptious bar at the very least. : ) Good to know though...little things during our full day here at the Yunessun reminded us each of movies though. We have seen online that in the past, they have had different things here too. We saw some photos online of when they had the cup of noodle baths. They had a few of the tubs and they looked just like instant cup of soups. We also heard they had garigari ones before too. And around Valentine's one time, they also had a chocolate one, that my husbands coworker recalls. We're coming back here, to Hakone and to the Yunessun this coming Febuary or March for my birthday. We loved this place so much.
Soaking while looking at all the Fall colors. Amazing.

Look at the shape of that roof of the charcoal one.
And so foggy steamy whatever you wanna call it. : ) And see those metal things? They held the charcoal. Great big hunks of charcoal. And it smelled like charcoal very very lightly, not bad smelling at all. Well, if our skin had any impurities, it sure doesn't anymore. : )
Huge pool. This Yunessun place. They have 2 sides. One sides the real onsen side, where you are naked and girls go with the girls and guys go with the guys. Then they also have this fun side, where you wear swimwear and can go with your whole family and not be separated.
And another big onsen area.
Nice floors.
Great big food court area. And there was another one near the other big pool. I quickly scoped the menu out. They had a very good menu it seems. Very westerner friendly menu. Pretzels, churros and chocolate churros, chicken sandwich. Onion rings etc.

These towel hooks made me smile.

Very popular skin care products in Japan. And they had a few baths packed with the stuff.

See they look younger already! LOL! : )
Look above Branden and Noah's heads. Yes they are soaking in an actual tub of cream. LOL. I soaked in there myself. Smelled amazing.

See the guy wearing the coat in the background? Yes it really was THAT chilly to need one. Which is why the onsen felt so good.
Branden going down the slide.
Hi Noah!
The Roman baths. Quite a few different types in this area. This whole Yunessun was pretty big.
Salt bath.
The boys and I went in this.
After playing a full entire Sunday at the Yunessun. We took showers. The shampoo (Pola and it smelled amazing btw) conditoner and body wash... all provided in the shower rooms for free) After soaking and playing but basically relaxing a whole day away and a good shower afterwards we went downstairs of the Yunessun. They had an Italian restaurant there. This place is basically a copy cat, exactly of Capriaciossa (sp?). Same rice ball for the apetizer (though we did not order it, but it was on the menu) same garlic and chili pasta which we did order. Noboru and I guessed/think, whoever runs this must have originally worked at Capriaciossa (sp?) and then opened their own copy cat restaurant way up here. Not that we mind or care. It's delicious. And the prices so fair. Our total for dinner was just 4200 yen. That's about $45 US. For 4 of us, that's really great.
Branden getting a napkin and Noah talking to Noboru.
2 big pizzas (they only had 1 size but they were quite large and we had leftover pizza even) and 2 garlic chili pastas and they offer regular or extra large portions same guessed it. Capriaciossa. We also had 4 cokes. We were stuffed. And we will come back to this restaurant for sure, the next time we go to Hakone. A great menu and very good prices.
Grape icecream. Cheesecake icecream. Green tea. They had a souvenir shop in the Yunessun and also this icecream shop.
Noboru is pretty traditonal, he picked green tea. Noah vanilla and Branden and I both picked cheesecake.
Leaving the Yunessun. Branden unzipping his sweatshirt so he could put it on.
On our way back to our hotel. Noboru stopped off at the Daily Yamazaki conbini. He wanted some cup of noodle. I had told him I packed some but I think he just likes to buy some when he's on a trip. See the tour bus parked near? All the tourists got off and picked up some snacks too probably to enjoy in their own hotel rooms.
Our hotel. So pretty with the lights. Looked sorta like a French chateau (the online reviewer who said that was right). Really very pretty.
B carrrying the swimsuits so we could hang dry them in the shower of our hotel room. Noah pulling the Buzz Lightyear suitcase that carried both kids clothes and pj's. Noboru carrying my hisbiscus carry-on that carried both hubby's and my stuff. And the left hand carried our snacks bag. I meanwhile in charge of taking all the family pics. So following behind. : )

Branden sitting under the chandelier waiting for Noboru to check us in. After soaking away all day. We felt nice and relaxed. We checked in, and looked around our room. Switched to our yukata and as you know from the second half of this post, went downstairs to our hotel and shampooed and soaped up, rinsed off, then soaked in the onsen again. Outside in the rotenburo. And then went up to our room and enjoyed our time together and then the next day took the ferry back home. All in all, this was an amazing trip, we had a truly wonderful time. Noboru wants to come back, I want to come back, the kids want to come back. So we're thinking about coming back for my birthday. My birthday's in March, but depending on when he can get the time off, maybe Febuary or maybe March, we'll see. We're definitely coming back here for sure.
Three cheers for Hakone Japan and the yunessun spa. Anyway, that was our mini getaway we had last Sunday and Monday. : )