Sakunami Onsen Motoyu, Sendai, Miyagi-ken, 989-3431, Japan
Along the Hirose River, this large ryokan has rooms that peer out over the stream and mountains. A sumptuous lobby has abundant sofas, an enormous banquet hall offers a breakfast buffet with a large selection of Japanese and Western items, and a 20-meter pool beckons after a day of exploring. However, the reason to stay here is the original rotenburo—or open-air bath. Although it generally offers mixed-sex bathing, some hours are reserved for women only. Five different springs fill the four rocky baths, and you can see the warm water bubbling up from the bottom of the river while you are soaking. At dinner, local specialties such as mountain vegetables are served. A shuttle bus is offered from JR Sakunami Station.
- traditional comfort
- secluded setting
- free parking
- no Western-style rooms
- caters to large groups of business travelers, who can be rowdy at night
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