On the last day we check-in into 湯宿 季の庭（ときのにわ）Tokinoniwa
[Official Website]. It is an onsen ryokan situated in the southern part of Kusatsu town. They are part of the Kyoritsu Resort Group and their establishments are usually nice and stylish.
After we parked the car and walked into the main hall, the first thing we were told to do was to take off our shoes before we stepped onto the reception area. Initially I thought it was a hassle to take off my shoes and then have to wear them again when we go to the rooms. It was later then I realized that the entire building was covered with tatami mat!
|Still had my shoes on...|
|The last time I saw my shoes until I checked-out!|
|Everyone's just wearing socks!|
|The interior of the building was enclosed and heated.|
|My wife even took off her socks! (- -;)|
I paid around ￥53,000 for a night, including dinner and breakfast for 2 adults and 1 child. The room came with a semi-outdoor private onsen, a tatami area and a bedroom with 2 beds., perfect for the 3 of us!
|The tatami area once we enter the room|
|2 beds in another room|
|The semi-outdoor onsen|
When its your turn, you will have to wear a pair of clogs as the private family onsen baths are situated outside the main building. Basically have to walk through a snow path to reach them~
|Walk to the onsens!|
|There will be clogs for you to wear as the private onsens are outside the main building.|
|The 1st onsen - too open to the elements... COLD WIND BLOW~|
|Large enough for a mahjong group of 3-4|
|J made a mini-snowman...|
|Nice and cozy~|
Dinner was served in their restaurant and we were led to a cozy little cubicle. They have a set meal for kids and J was very happy with the food they served. Nearly all ryokans in Japan charge based on the number of guests. For J, the rate was 50% of adult price so its fair his food wasn't as exquisite as ours...
And by exquisite I meant a kaiseki meal for both of us~
There was the option of 山の幸 or 海の幸, which really means you want seafood or steak? (^ ^;) We opted for 1 of each so we get to try everything~
|山の幸 or 海の幸? Have both!|
|Tadaa~ A coffee grinder!|
|The missus trying her hand at coffee grinding~|
After our little experiment with coffee beans, it was time to make full use of the onsen bath in our room~
And from 9:00pm there was free ramen! A perfect supper after a hot bath~ The serving was pretty generous and came with a slice of chashu~
With my body very clean (after at least 3 baths!?) and filled, it was time to sleep~ But even before the food had a chance to be digested, the next morning's breakfast was waiting for us. And again a huge portion!
|I felt full just looking at the breakfast spread ^_^;|
After breakfast there was still some time before we had to check-out, so its one last soak before we leave Kusatsu~ I was so glad I got the late 12:00 check-out~
|Checking-out~ Time to wear our shoes!|
After checking-out at the reception area, we saw our 3 pairs of shoes lined up at the doorway waiting for us. You got to admire the Japanese people's attention to such details. It felt like a long time since I saw my shoes and I was glad for it~
Next up, the long drive back to Tokyo with a detour to Ikaho Onsen to meet our friends!