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Japan, Keigetsu Ryokan at Higurami Hot Spring in Nagano - Great Hot spring and Japanese room(Tatami)

Travel in June 2018

I traveled to central Japan. This was my first trip to Nagoya, Nagano, in the area. Especially, I was interested in the "Hirugami Onsen(=Hot Spring in English.)" Most hot springs use very high temperature water. This place however, use lower temperature water as hot spring. This story made me interesting. Hot spring water at low temperature! But I planned my trip at the beginning of summer. Can a hot spring trip be fun even in the summer? Of course, when I arrived here, I were able to throw away all those worries.

First lodging is Keigets Ryokan, Nikchoan. This is the place that was built with the traditional Japanese style of architecture, "a traditional house with Tea room." Tea room, I liked the word Tea room. I don't know the style of architecture, but that explanation made me interested in it.

the Ryokan, Kegetsu on the climb

The entrance to the building was not splendid. But the plants were well organized. The floor had small stones like sandbags, and the entrance was wider than I expected. The building was situated slightly above the surface, so it was hard to see the inside. It was very unique. There was a list of customers at the entrance. Nice ryokans and hotels in the Hiragumi area had list with a reserved name on them at the entrance. It showed a classical atmosphere.

I took a shuttle bus to get here. If you want to take a shuttle bus, you have to make a reservation through Ryokan in advance. The hotel then tells you where to take the shuttle bus and it depends on the departure area. This is the most convenient way to get here.

The lobby resembles an old shop street in old Japan.

When I walked into the lobby, the friendly staff bowed low. It made me realize that I was in Japan. In addition, they firendly took my suitcase from the shuttle bus. Inside the building, there was a cafe on one side and the front desk on another. And the other part was the lobby. I was impressed by the small store and unique interior of the lobby here. In particular, it seemed like a reproduction of some of the old shopping streets.

I moved with my room key by a small elevator.

This Ryokan is not a tall building with multiple floors. And like Japan, elevator was very small. I walked around with my room key on the way to my room. The hall with rooms was like a house of various kinds. The door connected with the room looked like a gate to the house. So it was like a gate to an old Japanese house. All the staff I met as I was walking through the hall smiled and said hello to me. The staffs were very nice.

Comfortable Tatami room(=Japanese room) with various room structures.

I heard an explanation of this ryokan's rooms from Ryokan's general manager. He said the rooms here are all different in shape and structure. But when I heard this explanation, I didn't quite understand it. However I saw some of the rooms here, all of which were completely different in structure, interior and shape, I was surprised at them. When the people in the next room came to our room, they were very surprised. "Our room is really different in shape and structure from yours. It is amazing" Each room had a gate that I explained like home, a large space for taking off your shoes, and a small space like the floor of Korean traditional house called Hanok.

I entered the room and lay down for a while. I started traveling at dawn and looked around many places in Japan. And finally, I checked in the Ryokan. It was very hot that day and I could not move without a handy fan. The area of Hiragumi had a cool when the evening. Oh, how nice. Comfortable, cozy and cool breeze. I lay here for a while and began to fall asleep. My roommate asked me to get up quickly and go to the hot springs. Only then did I jump out with my Yukata.


There was a cool towel on the desk. Great!! There were tea products and simple tea sets for each room. The tea has a unique, green scent. Tea food was also served for two people. It was similar to Korean desert. Ah! There's no photo, but there was another tea food like jelly, It was also good for tea.