75–1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate-ken, 025-0252, Japan
The main reason to stay here is have the opportunity to steep in the venerable Namari Onsen, which has a high ceiling and a round shape that resembles nothing so much as a giant inkwell. The water in the hot spring, however, is clear and mild, offering primarily mixed-sex bathing with a few hours reserved solely for women. The dark wooden house made of Japanese zelkova trees has red-carpeted corridors that squeak pleasantly as people pass by. Although the rooms in the main building have no private toilet, many find them nicer and more rustic (in a good way) than those in the newer concrete annex; the corner rooms overlooking a waterfall are particularly roomy and tastefully furnished. If you just want to take the waters, it's ¥700 per person.
- storied history
- good meals
- charm to spare
- loud announcements break the peaceful moments
- rather out of the way
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