Okuhida is a beautiful mountain with so many things to do and so many places to see. It is not a typical sightseeing spot for foreigners, but it’s more of a place many Japanese people visit when they want to spend some relaxing time with friends.
We spent 2 nights at a beautiful Ryokan (Japanese style hotel), and that was one of the best part of the trip. Many Ryokan style hotels are family-run that have been in business for decades, and many of them have very traditional Japanese rooms, which create a cozy, friendly atmosphere. People who work at Ryokans are always so nice, and I’m sure they will make you feel so welcom there.
The Ryokan I staied at had an outdoor bath which was filled with natural hot spring water, and we were able to enjoy nice bath anytime we wanted. One thing I want to remind anybody before going to any public bath or hot springs in Japan is that you are supposed to be completely naked! I know a lot of people feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it:) Different hot springs contain different minerals, therefore, different hot springs give you different effects to your body- some of them are good for skin, others are good for bone health, and there are ones that help you heal your injuries. And yeah, I almost forgot. Another best thing about Ryokans is the food! Seriously, they fed us as if we are the king or queen! I included one picture so you can see what the food looks like.
Ok, enough about the hotel…. Okuhida is very famous for hot springs as I mentioned already, but you will be amazed to see some of the outdoor hot springs you can go to around the area. We got to go to 2 hot springs besides the one at the hotel, and one of them was right next to a river! The view was amazing, and the temperature was perfect! Another one we tried was my favorite one for sure. We reached there after about 30 minutes hike, and it was a little tiring with a lot of uphills, but it was all worth it! This one is said to be found by a famous war lord, Shingen Takeda, from 1500’s. It’s in the middle of mountain, and it was so amazing to feel the nature and history as I bathed.
It might sounds like Okuhida is such perfect resort already, but I’m not finished yet! There is a huge cave in the area, which unfortunately I don’t have a picture of, but it’s really gorgeous. We also went to a small, but very pretty waterfall, and one more thing- you can take a cable car (called rope-way) to the top of the mountain. This cable car runs the longest distance in Japan (I think it’s the second longest in the world), and it could be a little scary, especially when it’s foggy and you can’t see where you are going (It was soooo foggy!) but when you reach the top of the mountain, I’m sure you will forget all about it! It was very interesting because when we went (in the early June), there was still a lot of snow left on top of the mountain, and we felt really lucky to experience all the different season within the few days!
Of course, the trip to Okuhida could be a little expensive, but there are so many amazing things there, and if you can afford extra short trip when you visit Japan, I really recommend you to go there, and you will NOT regret it!