Hirayu no Mori is the ideal onsen (hot spring) resort get away from the chaotic city life.
Hirayu no Mori
Hirayu no Mori is situated in the Okuhida Hot Springs area on the outskirts of Takayama city. The resort is conveniently located opposite the bus stop, just look out for the towering lamp post (photo above) with a foot bath below.
Apart from other resorts and hotels, there’s only a handful of restaurants in the area – which is a 10 minute walk.
Hirayu no Mori resort is spread across two buildings, both containing Japanese and Western style rooms. The Japanese style rooms have tatami floors with futons for beds, while the Western rooms have typical hotel beds and carpet.
Rooms in the older building don’t have en-suite bathrooms. I was initially worried that this would be quite an inconvenience but the shared bathroom was close to our room and kept impeccably clean during our stay.
There was however a small vanity in the room, along with a kettle and tea cups. If you haven’t stayed in a Japanese tatami room before, you’ll be wondering where the bed is. The futons are stored in cupboards and are laid out by the resort staff while guests are at dinner.
The open air onsen (hot springs) is the prime attraction at Hirayu no Mori with a total of 16 baths (7 for men and 9 for women) for guests to relax in. Guests staying at the hotel have unlimited use of the onsen during the opening hours. If being naked in a hot spring is beyond your comfort zone, there are 2 private baths available for reservation.
Apart from the main restaurant, guests can also purchase snacks and drinks from either the vending machines or the gift shop. I highly recommend trying the local Hida Milk from the vending machine after your onsen, though it may sound a bit odd it’s very much part of Japanese onsen culture!
Our reservation at Hirayu no Mori resort included dinner and breakfast. Both meals are Japanese style and served at the main restaurant. Dinner is a multi course affair starring the local Hida beef – which is cooked on a small iron grill. Other dishes include tempura, grilled fish, salad, soba noodles, pickled vegetables and Japanese sweets.
Breakfast is also quite a feast with grilled salmon, tofu, Hoba Miso, pickled vegetables, miso soup and rice.
From check in to check out, the staff were helpful and friendly. Despite catering to mostly Japanese customers, a few members of the staff were able to speak English.
English menus and guides are prepared for guests to minimize any miscommunication!
Hirayu no Mori is a great way to experience Japanese onsen and cuisine in peace and quiet.
This review was based on an independently paid stay.