I went for a one-night stay at the ryokan Tsurunoyu Onsen, in Nyuto onsen village, which is famous for its natural hotsprings and in particular, its mixed-sex bath. As I’m a last minute traveler with poor planning skills, I’d like to take a brief moment to give a shoutout to Travel Arrange Japan, because while they looked like a semi-sketchy website with very few reviews to verify their legitimacy, the folks there helped me book a stay at the very popular Tsurunoyu! They also contacted the onsen to help me arrange the shuttle from the closest bust stop to the onsen, and were very available on email. So Travel Arrange Japan is a legit business, people!
Now — onto my ryokan stay in Nyuto onsen village.
Nyuto translates into “nipple” because the onsen village is nestled in a part of the mountains by a beautiful lake which apparently looks like a nipple. I don’t know; getting to Tsurunoyu involved taking a train, then a public bus, then a shuttle which picked me up from the bus stop along with three others on their way to Tsurunoyu at the same time as me.
Japanese ryokan are traditional inns where people typically spend a night or so basically just lounging around, but traditionally. The general ryokan schedule involves soaking in hot springs a lot, having a nice meal served in your room, and then pushing aside the room’s sparse furniture to lay your futon out on the tatami mats to go to sleep.