たからや旅館 (Takaraya Ryokan)
Arriving on Christmas Day, we stayed for three nights at Takaraya Ryokan in Sujiyu Spa. Sujiyu is part of Kokonoe town in Kuju mountains, Oita.
The view from our room.
From our apartment it would normally take about two hours by car to get there. However, on the morning of departure it started snowing and we were warned about slippery roads. We decided to take the train to Bungo Nakamura and from there the bus to Sujiyu. The moment we got to Bungo Nakamura the buses stopped running due to the snow. There was no other option but to go by taxi. Halfway on the way up the mountain the taxi got stuck in the snow and the driver had to put on snow chains. It was worth the trouble... on Christmas day we were in a remote snowy onsen town!
The living room of Takaraya.
Takaraya is a very nice Ryokan. The couple and their son running the ryokan are very nice. The room we stayed in was very spacious. It was kept warm by a heater that uses the steam from onsen. We could keep it on during the cold nights without running the risk of dying from kerosine fumes. They serve free coffee and tea and the food was really good. But more importantly — this is an onsen blog after all — they have two onsen. There is a bath inside the ryokan and they have a rotenburo that can be used privately. If you want to experience a ryokan, but don't want to pay too much, I highly recommend Takaraya.
The indoor bath.
Entrance to the rotenburo. The building in the background in the center is Takaraya.
Takaraya's private rotenburo.