JR Yufuin is an amazing station. Great design that combines traditional vibes of the ancient Onsen town and contemporary architecture style.
Yufuin is an iconic hot spring region in Kyushu with many popular hot spring resorts. It is highly recommended to save a budget for the Onsen resort for the unique experience of ‘One Night Two Meals’ (一泊二食).
From JR Yufuin – 15 mins
From Yunotsubo Kaido – 6-7 mins
From Lake Kinrin – 7 mins
If you are coming from the JR station, it would take you some time. The resort does not provide shuttle bus services so call for a taxi if you do not want to walk with your large luggage. We arrived in a rainy day therefore we took taxi on our way to the resort but we did walk from the resort back to the station on the day we left Yufuin.
The resort was comprised of 3 buildings serving as rooms, restaurants and private outdoor hot spring respectively.
The iconic black brick on the rooftop is eye-catchy but blends in with the tranquility well and also makes a perfect IG-able spot. The upper photo shows the entrance of the room block reserving privacy while maintaining a cozy vibe there. It would be amazing to sit on the wooden bench and let your mind flows with the peace there.
Japan has its traditional garden design philosophy. Rocks, flowing water, greenery and paths are placed with care and delicacy. After a hot spring time, we spent some time in the lobby. Each corners are decorated with floral art. The Big cannot resist to draw the lovely scene with her grade C art sense on the notebook the resort provides.
Rooms are spacious in Yadoya. The photo on the left shows the Japnese-style room with ‘Tatami’. After setting up tatami, there is still a large space for the dining room with ‘Kotatsu’, a low and covered table with a heat source underneath. You can’t imagine how comfortable it is to drink a can of frozen beer in the kotatsu. Shower room and toilet is outside of the dining areas with two basins. The Bread and The Big could brush together!
What a pity it is a gloomy day. You can see Mount Yufu from your room when the weather is good.
The meal is so appetizing! After reserving our room online, there was staff contacting us via email. They asked about meal and time preference of our dinner. Appetizer and side dishes are set while the main course is open for choices. We chose beef sukiyaki instead of chicken hotpot. From the email, we thought the only dish we had would be the sukiyaki. Therefore, we were totally shocked when we see so many side dishes on the dining table.
Let’s talk about the appetizer (先付). Chestnut, sweet potato salad with tofu, deep-fried ground corn and sesame croquette, quiche of chicken with cheese, simmered pumpkin with Japanese broth and minced meat sauce, taro potato and baked lotus loot.
‘Small bowls’ (小缽) came afterwards with deep fried sesame tofu which is really impressive with its refreshing flavour and crispy texture.
Assorted sashimi (raw fish, 刺身) includes greater amberjack, tuna, red snapper and sweet shrimp. The Big did not like the texture of raw fish so she gave all to me. Although the sashimi were not SUPER GOOD but it is still way better than the sashimi we had in Hong Kong.
‘Bowl’ (碗物) is steamed egg with duck broth. Most japanese-style steamed egg is made with seaweed broth thus the flavour is really surprising. Rich duck flavour blends well with the silky steamed egg.
‘Searing Pan’ (蓋物) is garlic butter flavor chicken hotpot with Japanese mushroom and cauliflower. And salad (洋皿) is lobster and fresh salad with Espuma tomato sauce. Beautifully cooked lobster with ‘al dente’ texture and the appetising tomato sauce.
The main dish, beef Sukiyaki, was served after all the appetizer and side dishes. The beef was black-haired Wagyu with the iconic evenly distributed grease and tenderness.
Sukiyaki usually consists of thinly sliced beef which is slowly simmered in a shallow iron pot at the table with the broth of a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. A small bowl of raw beaten will be prepared for dipping before eating to foster the silky texture of ingredients. The beef was so tender and super silky after dipping into the egg like it melts in your mouth. The assorted vegetables were so flavourful too after cooking in the broth.
When you thought the meal was ended, oops! Dessert time! The creamy tofu ice cream ended the dinner perfectly.
Menu for reference. Small reminder: the menu changes daily depending on the availability of the best and fresh ingredients of the day.
Even the breakfast is so luxury. We can’t even count how many dishes we had. A fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine was served.
We barely remember what did we eat in that breakfast but we do remember the perfect and buttery vegetables in the pot. The small dishes include spinach salad with sesame oil, yam, smoky ham and pickled turnip in Yuzu sauce. The main dishes include grilled mackerel and tamagoyaki. Free-flow rice, miso soup and drinks are served outside. Fresh milk from Japan is a must-try! Fresh, rich and tasty!
We visited this resort during December. The aesthetic Christmas decoration was so festive while the open view is just perfect. As we avoid the peak season of traveling in Yufuin, we could enjoy our quality and tranquil time in the restaurant for an amazing morning.
You can reserve two 50-minute sessions of private hot spring per night. There is four themed private hot spring. The first day we chose”中の湯”. This is the signature onsen of the resort famous for its open view and delicate garden design.
We enjoyed our onsen from sunset till evening. 50-mins fly! We have no concept about the quality of onsen, but it was really soothing. Hot spring made us hungry. Remember not to go for onsen immediately after meal! The facilities of the private onsen are comprehensive. You will have enough place to put your personal belongings as well as a shower room for bathing after the onsen time. Just put on the Japanese bathrobe and bring along with a towel.
The next morning we chose ‘五石衛門湯’ for another complimentary private onsen session. The hot spring is smaller than the one we used last night but there is two hot spring pools. This one is located on the second floor of the onsen building but disappointedly the view is less open than the previous one. So we definitely recommend ‘中の湯’ more.
Other than private onsen for reservation, there is also a public onsen and bathing area for male and female respectively. The photo below is the photos from the official site showing the public onsen. It was a regret that we could not see this beautiful view as we were going to the public onsen in the evening. Still, we both bathed in the hot spring for 40 minutes.
Upon our arrival, we have to put our shoes onto the shoes shelf and put on the indoor slippers provided by the resort to ensure that the entire resort is a clean space. (A little tradition of onsen resort in Japan)! We were so grateful that the reception staff was friendly and nice and speaks English well. The check-in process is extraordinarily smooth and we even received lots of gift including a nail cutter, a big pack of corn snacks and a pair of socks for The Big and I.
For ladies, there was an exclusive experience: you could choose your own bathrobe with the typical Japanese print and a woven belt for resort internal use. The photos The Big took besides the onsen is exactly in the turquoise bathrobe I chose. So unfair! Why men could not have this privilege!