Firstly, I would like to use this opportunity to thank you Boom for organizing our memorable experience @ Amami Onsen Nanten-en, our Japanese Ryokan Experience during our recent Girls Holiday in Japan. Amami Onsen Nanten-en is located in the beautiful Amami, Kawachinagano City in Osaka Prefecture.
Note : Some of the photo credit in this post goes to Boom whom have did a fantastic job organizing our memorable holiday
Our journey started with us taking Nankai Train using the Nankai Koya Line starting from Nankai Station located in Namba station. The entire journey only takes about 40 minutes and the cost of the ride per way is only 590 yen.
We arrived at Amami Station, surrounded by beautiful and scenic mountains which took our breath away. Existing the station, we saw beautiful traditional residential houses before arriving (only 1 minute walk from the station) at the beautiful Ryokan (listed as one of the National Registered Cultural Asset) that was designed by the renowned Japanese architect, Dr. Kingo Tatsuno.
We were warmly greeted upon arrival at the Ryokan by the friendly staff, one of which were able to speak very good english. He showed us to our accommodation for the night. Our gorgeous room is a 2 room Japanese accommodation that is able to accommodate 6 tatami which was perfect for the 6 of us. It comes with a bathroom, TV in each room, room safe, mini bar and a lovely little enclosed balcony facing the beautiful garden.
Other facilities available in the common area are :
Reception Counter with souvenirs available for sale
Lounge – where they serve coffee, tea, hot chocolates etc and internet connection
Irorinoma (いろり), Japanese traditional fireplace room – a small gallery showcasing Japanese ceramics, painting and antiques. Also served as a place to gather for a conversation while sipping a cup of tea
Check-in process were done in the room instead of the reception area. We were greeting in the bigger room where a table with 6 chairs (traditional japanese style) have been lay out. Our welcome drink is served with japanese tea with japanese sweet made from beans. We were then explained the facilities in the Ryokan as well as our rooms.
Our beautiful accommodation for the night :
To our surprise (yes we were definitely not prepared for this), there were no bathroom in our reservation room as we found out that in the Ryokan, the common bath is located in the Onsen (hot-spring) surrounded by nature. The Onsen is separated into male and female and is 24 hours open with cleaning timing from 930 am to 1130 am daily when the Onsen is not available.
After the introduction to the Ryokan, we were measured for our Yukata (kimono) size. After confirming our dinner timing, we then changed to the Yukata that was brought to our room for us.
After changing into our Yukata, what else would us girls do…. the true Japanese Ryokan experience comes where we head out into the beautiful serene garden for photos. The surrounding were stunning!
After almost 2 hours out in the cold winter evening in the serene and beautiful garden, we head back into our room where we sat down for a discussion on how we are going to tackle the bathing experience as to all 6 of us, this is indeed our first experience where we had to take shower in a common bathroom aka Onsen. The daring 3 members of our party decided to go first. And after almost 1 hour later, came back and shared their experience with the remaining 3 of us whom have decided to only go into the Onsen after midnight where we thought would have the least people.
At 7 pm sharp, there was a knock on our door and in come the friendly staff of the Ryokan serving our Kaiseki dinner for the night. The dinner were served course by course where we savor the beautiful and elegantly served exquisite Japanese cuisine.
Our dinner menu :
Beautifully and elegantly served exquisite Japanese Kaiseki dinner
Dinner ended with dessert of thick red bean meal soup served with rice cake, also known as Oshiruko (お汁粉).
After dinner, we ordered hot sake while we sit around the table to chat and catch up (as we all flew in from various countries). Sharp at 9 pm where we have confirmed our turn down service time, the knock on the door came and the friendly staff are back to clear the table and made our tatami for the night. We had 4 tatami in 1 room while the 2nd room which were smaller, had 2 tatami. The whole process were so quick that it only took them less than 15 minutes to get ready all the 6 tatami.
Hot sake is served!
Our tatami all ready for the night
We then continued with our chat and catch up session before the remaining 3 of us head off to experience our first Japanese Onsen and public bath experience.
The entire experience started in the changing room outside the Onsen where we prepared ourselves. Our clothes were placed in the basket available in the changing room before we head into the Onsen with only a small washcloth to cover our modesty. We took our bath while sitting on the little stool that was provided (all the necessities i.e Bath Foam, Shampoo and Conditioner are all provided). After the bath, we then sat in the Hot-Spring / Onsen, a wonderful experience that is said to aids blood circulation in the muscles, joints and skin while promoting general good health and well being. It is said that this is the oldest hot-spring in Kawachinagano-city where many pilgrims to Koyasan have made use of it to refresh themselves since the ancient time. The soak in the Hot-Spring ended with a wash down under the shower before we head back out to the changing room to dry ourselves. Modern facilities like hair-dryer are provided in the changing room.
Breakfast is served the next morning in the Banquet Hall, also known as Shunjunoma which is also a venue used for meetings and parties. The room is traditionally furnished. We enjoyed a true Japanese breakfast experience.
Check out time is at 10 am hence after breakfast, we decided to go around the garden to experience the cold morning view before we head back to Amami Station for our Nankai train back to Namba Station where we continue our journey / holiday.
We truly enjoyed our traditional Japanese Ryokan and Onsen experience in Nanten-en. First experience for all of us, we are now ready for another Japanese Onsen experience in our next girls holiday.
Details of Amami Onsen Nanten-en as below :
Amami Onsen Nanten-en
158 Amami, Kawachinagano-shi, Osaka, 586-0062, Japan
Check out 10:00a.m.