Yu no Tani Ryokan

A quiet onsen resort with personal tubs

By Bret de Colebi    - 3 min read

There are many ryokan to be found in Shikoku, but if you want a clean, high-class establishment the choices dwindle. Furthermore, most ryokan don't offer very good bathing accommodation. If they do, the water is likely from a tap and the facilities are usually shared. Yu no Tani Ryokan breaks away from all of the usual pitfalls of Japanese countryside onsen.

The entire interior as well as the rooms were recently remodeled, in spring of 2012, and so everything is clean, fresh, and brand new. The wooden floors and structure of the buildings give it a whole, earthy feel, while still being clean and modern. All rooms have their own private baths for your comfortable enjoyment. The nicer and more spacious rooms have the baths located in an outdoor, but still private, patio area. What really sets Yu no Tani apart from its peers is the quality of its water.

Saijo City is widely known for is its beautiful water and the majestic mountain range from which it flows. Ishizuchi Mountain, and the range of its name, provide water for a variety of Shikoku area bottled waters, wine breweries, even Asahi Beer and Coca Cola. This water flows underground, where it becomes richly inundated with minerals, and is drank by most every citizen of Saijo City from their own personal wells, or from uchinuku locations (public water spouts). For this reason, Saijo is the spring water capital of Japan. This same water, in an area so rich with minerals that drinking it is ill advised (although for the adventurous, possible), you can find flowing through the spouts of Yu no Tani Onsen. The water is quite possibly one of the best that can be found at any hot spring in Japan; it's so brimming with minerals that the list for dissolved particles in the baths numbers at over a dozen. All of the hot water is heated through energy efficient wood fire stoves.

The ryokan is located in a great neighborhood for those seeking to get away from it all. The quaint country surroundings, the towering green mountains covered in forest, and the nearby rivers all add to the deep, wholesome feeling of the setting. Within walking distance there are also three of the 88 Shikoku temples, and a car ride or bus can take you to another in the mountains, or to the Ishizuchi ropeway. In the district of Komatsu, you can also find several sake breweries and the Ishizuchi main shrine. You are also near enough to the Asahi Beer Factory, as well as Saijo City's downtown (just one train stop away).

All in all, if you need to unwind, de-stress, and heal your body and soul, there is no better place than Saijo's Yu no Tani Ryokan.

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Bret de Colebi

Bret de Colebi @bret.de.colebi

I am a Seattle native, settled here on Shikoku these last few years. Love Japanese food, hiking, camping, swimming, and taking photos of this beautiful corner of the world!

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