Where is Aizu? It's located in western Fukushima Prefecture, the northeast region of Japan. The terrain of Aizu is multivariant. And there are rich natural resources in Aizu. Mount Bandai, a stratovolcano in Aizu, is a plateau geographically and one of Japan's celebrated summer retreats. The Bandaisan Onsen Hotel under Hoshino Resorts is situated right there.
The mascot pattern- Akabeko (meaning a red bull in Japanese) - is a traditional toy of Aizu, which has the significance of getting rid of sickness and praying for health. The Bandaisan Onsen Hotel is built with the theme of Akabeko. Everything, from interior decoration to experiential activities, is inextricably linked to Aizu's red bull.
When guests lounge at the Bandaisan Onsen Hotel, they can enjoy Aizu's gourmet food, hot springs, nihonshu (Japanese wine), traditional dances, and more. After check-in at the Hotel at 3 pm, guests could go to their rooms first to get changed into Japan-style sportswear and slippers. And then, they go back to the lobby to participate in the experiential activity.
The Hotel's most popular activities by parents-kids and female guests are drawing the Akabeko and using the Aizu Momen cotton fabric to make sachets. After registering and paying the entry fee, guests will receive a basket of tools. Next on, it's time to unleash the creativity to color the red bull's body.
A sake bar in the lobby serves several locally brewed liquors in Aizu. The Hotel offers multiple options of side dishes to go well with sake, including cheese, dried persimmon, and miso. I tasted the theJunmai sake recommended by the service staff. It's pure rice wine called “Daughter of Aizu” which has a fresh taste.
The activities at night time impress as well. The hotel staff will introduce the tourist attractions of Aizu to make the guests know more about the local community and its culture. The climax of the night event is that the hotel staff plays the taiko and flute, sings traditional folk songs, and dances the Aizu Bandaisan Dance to entertain the guests. The show is amazing and the on-site atmosphere is so fun and enthusiastic.
When it comes to the next morning, the Hotel invites local farmers and holds a morning market in the lobby. Guests could pick up fresh vegetables, fruits, and even Aizu's specialty goods in the market.
Guests can DIY a cup of herbal tea after breakfast. For instance, local people add herbs to the drinking water. The Hotel prepares six herbs. And then, guests can use customized tools, like a mortar and a pestle, to crush the herbs, pour the boiling hot water over herbs to steep them, and then taste the herbal tea.
Full Enjoyment of Hot Springs and Delicacies
Aizu owns magnificent scenery and fine hot springs. The hot springs on Mount Bandai belong to the sodium bicarbonate spring as the hot spring water looks transparent. Such a hot spring is pretty suitable for people with all skin types. The bath house is quite large so that it is able to give more than ten people to soak in a hot spring at the same time.
One night with two meals is a must-have itinerary for lodging in a hot spring hotel. On-site, several chefs are making the dough for handmade soba noodles, pan-frying the steak, and cooking high-qualified fresh vegetables.
The Hotel is just like the microcosm of this land of Aizu. After spending two days at the Hotel, guests had a wonderful time and want to explore more. I feel like I find out the secret to why people get addicted to traveling!
Tokyo Field Observer and Guide
A contradictory person who is lazy in nature but always has a high level of action for what I like. The biggest action in my life is to come to my favorite country, Japan. In the third year of living in Tokyo, I go out with my camera to eat, walk, and travel whenever I want to record every bit of my life in this amazing country.
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