Jun 10, 2016

How to R&R in Atami

Onsen? Beach? Sea? Well look no further, you can find all these in Atami.

When I first arrived, I was quite surprised to find Atami located on hills or rather mountains. The town is relatively small and is built on a hilly area. Hotels concentrate in the onsen source or along the beaches. It is also very accessible. There is a comprehensive network of buses. And the bus stops are right in front of the attractions, which is not very common in Japan. The hotels also provide free bus services to and fro Atami station. Probably because Atami is gaining popularity amongst the seniors in Japan, such services are made available.

Where to stay?
I stayed at one of Itoen's hotels, Atami New Fujisan. It's a very old hotel. It's HUGE, with many rooms. Including the one at the Annex, there are three onsens, located on three different locations in the hotel. However the best part is the buffet dinner. For this season, it includes free flow of crabs! And the alcohol bar is also free flow. Alcohol selections include sake, wine, beer, and various kinds of Chu-Hi.

I managed to clinch a promotion, and only paid ¥7020 per night. It includes two meals, breakfast and dinner, and entrance to their three onsen baths. (Onsen tax of ¥150 per night is not included) Both breakfast and dinner are buffets.

If u prefer a hotel near the station, and it is not equipped with onsen facilities, u can easily find one which offer 日帰り packages.

Where to go?

    Sun Beach

    錦ヶ浦 Nishikigaura Cliff
錦ヶ浦 is over 80m high. These cliffs are formed by the lava of Taga volcano, which flowed into the ocean thousands of years ago.

    Kinomiya Shrine 来宮神社
Visit one of the oldest powerspot in Japan. 大楠, the largest tree in Honshu, is more than 2000 years old, and has a circumference of more than 23m!

To reach the Kinomiya Shrine, take the bus from bus stand 2 from the Atami Station and alight at Kinomiya Jinja Mae 来宮神社前 bus stop.

    Akao Herb and Rose Garden
At first I was quite worried as it rained the whole morning and that my visit to the park might be disappointing. Luckily when I reached the park, the rain has stopped! Though it is still misty, it adds a mysterious appeal to the park. The rain droplets actually accentuated the beauty of the flowers too. Do not have too high expectations though. They don't look too good on wide shots, but taken separately, they look good in macro shots. *hint hint*

You can also take part in their craft classes. They include soap making, Cologne making, pressed flowers card making and sand bottle making classes. They are all within 30min. I tried out the cologne making class. It took less than 10min, and costs about ¥900. You can bring back your craftwork too.

I would recommend ending the walk with some cakes at the restaurant. The cakes are delicious! Tea set comes with a hot or cold drink and a piece of cake. It costs ¥900. The pastas are quite disappointing though. So it might be better to have your lunch elsewhere.

I strongly recommend the Yu-Yu Bus 湯遊バス. It covers most of the tourist spots in Atami, and by paying ¥700 u get unlimited rides on the bus. The bus covers Atami castle, Sun Beach, Ginza, Akao Herb & Rose Garden and the port. There will be a guide on the bus too. You can buy the pass on the bus. Alternatively each ride costs ¥250. You can take the bus at bus stand 0 at the Atami Station.

If you stay at Atami New Fujisan too, the nearest Yu-Yu bus stop is 大湯間歇泉.

There is a ticket discount store near the station. Remember to check out the store before you buy any Shinkansen or train tickets. I saved about ¥120 for my JR train trip to Izu.

There are no huge coin lockers at the Atami Station. The biggest is hand-carry luggage size. You can leave your luggage with a store at Daiichi Building instead. Daiichi building is just opposite the station. Check with the Tourist Information Counter, which is also in the same building on which shop that is. It originally sells women's clothing, but now it doubles up as a luggage counter. I left my medium size luggage and a haversack with them for ¥600.

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