Tsurunoyu Ryokan, Nyuto Onsen, Japan
The Tsurunoyu Ryokan complete with the nearby Yama no Yado annexe is the oldest and most authentic ryokan in the area. It is truly enchanting, serving traditional food, which consists of local mountain vegetables and fish in the restaurant is cooked over a small "irori" fire pit, it also offers an excellent outdoor onsen. The original rooms in the main building are extremely popular and get booked up a year in advance, but the Yama no Yado annexe is equally pleasant and all the rooms are en suite. If you are staying in the Yama no Yado annexe you have free use of the baths in the main building. There are several baths at the Tsurunoyu, each fed by a different source of water. All the baths contain sulphur found naturally in the mountain springs, so the baths all have a murky white colour to them. There is also a large outdoor mixed-sex bath, which you are welcome to try if you are brave enough, but please do observe local etiquette! You are provided with a small modesty towel, which you should use when entering or leaving the bath.