Thursday, May 19, 2016

Konansou Hotel, Fuji Kawaguchiko

Over the holidays when my family visited, we decided to bring my parents to a ryokan, because it's quite the "Japanese" experience. There are so, so, so many choices, of course, but my sister had heard of one that was good, Konansou, in the town of Fujikawaguchiko of Yamanashi prefecture.

This is a ryokan-hotel, with mostly tatami rooms and a choice of Western beds for those who prefer that over the futons on the floor. The main draw is the kaiseki dinner and the rooftop foot-bath with view of Fuji-san. We went all out and upgraded our meals too, because how often will my parents and siblings get together in a country to visit me?

We were pleased with our ryokan pick for a family visit of this size, because the place is huge and well-maintained.

We got an upstairs room (floor 7, I think?) with lake view, and wow it was gorgeous!

Here's the entrance to our room. It was only a 12-jo room, a little small (an understatement here...) for 6 people to pile in, but it was lovely and super clean. 

Here's the view from the rooftop foot bath, which I didn't take a photo of. There were lots of people soaking their feet and I didn't feel comfortable snapping away at them.

There was actually a funnier reason why I didn't take photos (or not so funny depends on who you ask...). Whereas most outdoor foot baths require a step down into the pool in the ground, this one is a raised pool that requires a two-step climb up onto a bench, where you sit to soak your feet. Many of the folks soaking their feet that day were tourists, some of whom didn't understand a few things, like wearing underwear under their yukata ^.^"

Our room wasn't big enough to have in-room meals, especially with the food upgrade, so we came downstairs to the ryotei on the 5th floor.

Goodness gracious there were so. much. food. None of us could eat all our food. We all thought our stomachs would burst, but hell it was so worth it! My words just don't do this meal justice so I'll shut up and let you see it for yourself.

The glass is pear juice.

Miso soup with crab.

A mini shabushabu with wagyu but the majority of the meal was seafood.

And of course there was sashimi. Lobster sashimi.

By the time dessert came around, we were already in a food coma. I took a bite of everything just for a taste but ate all of the Santa strawberry and cream. The purple stuff was taro pudding, which I was loathed to waste :(

After dinner my sister and I took my mum around the hotel to explore and let our stomachs settle before getting into the hot bath.

The place has fantastic decor!

The picture at right is the hall with private party rooms. Many companies would bring a huge group of employees here for a giant meal and then do karaoke afterwards in the same room. As we walked by, many of the rooms were still in a mess as the parties just finished and they hadn't a chance to clean up.

Private party rooms.

Here's the view of the next morning. We were advised to wake up at 7AM if we wanted a clear view of Fuji-san. So 7AM it was and sure enough, the sky was clear and we headed up to the roof for pictures. But of course everyone else was there too so still no photos of the foot bath *sniff*

 Breakfast was another gigantic meal none of us could finish, not even hubby or my brother. Can people really eat all this? How do they stay so thin?

By the time we headed out to the station about 10AM, the clouds had arrived and covered up Fuji-san. The train ride was great because up until a certain later stops when more people got on, we had a whole car to ourselves :D Also, outside of Tokyo, the trains are bigger and wider, and arguably cleaner too.

Souvenir bought at the station. This is a sake bottle inside a miniature barrel, made to look exactly like its huge version. Adorable, huh?

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