I suppose most tourist that go to Japan don't typically come here as it seems like a weekend getaway for locals.
But things will probably change once they open up the new Anime/ Manga themed park this summer on the island.
[Hotel New Awaji-- Villa Rakuen]
It looks so wonderful and luxurious!
I thought it would be a wonderful (albeit splurge) to end a trip.
I mean how can you not? Look at how stunning their private outdoor baths in the rooms are!
there was no availability at Villa Rakuen
(ok, not the one I had my heart set on anyway
as I was checking the booking sites frequently).
I was a bit disappointed, so I looked to Amahara
since it's owned by the same hotel group.
The Hotel New Awaji Group actually owns ~12 resorts on the island.
Three of which are connected to Amahara. So you get all the amenities of a larger hotel,
but when you are ready to escape the crowd,
you can retreat back to your private oasis (there's only 18 rooms in Amahara).
If the gorgeous sea views don't entice you, I don't know what will...
THE ROOM-- PHOTOS
We opted for their middle tier room which is a Japanese Western Style with Private Bath
(all rooms have private outdoor bath and faces the Seto Inland Sea).
If you can help it, stay here on a weekday which is almost half the rate of weekends/ holidays.
It was ~$900 usd on the day we could fit it in (Saturday).
- DINNER -
Of course, no Ryokan stay is complete without sampling their multi-course Kaiseki.
From left to right:
Up to this point, the food tasted great.
But my Fiance still wasn't convinced the journey from Kanazawa to Awaji
(trains & highway bus) was worth the half day+ journey we had to go through.
I bet he even started to regret letting me plan vacations.
SECOND MAIN DISH
However, one bite of the Awaji Beef and he was speechless.
To better put it, I think he had a foodgasm.
Instantly, he was glad we came.
We didn't think it was possible, but the Awaji Beef was even better
than the Kobe Beef we had a few days prior in Kobe (see our video link).
Quite hard to believe as Kobe Beef was such a treat.
But this Awaji beef is on another level with it's intense flavor.
No wonder they say Kobe Beef actually came from cows from Awaji.
(Grown by famous local rice field).
Locally brewed Sake
LOVELY SAKE CUPS
We didn't finish our bottle of sake at dinner,
so they lent us other sake cups to
take back to the room to enjoy.
- FREE Drinks-
On the way back to the room, we noticed their free happy hour at the lounge has started.
It's immediately outside of the restaurant and next to the staff desk since
the lounge area is really small and intimate.
They serve soft drinks and coffee all day long, but after dinner there's free alcohol.
They have Hawaiian water??
It's something we see at home all the time, but it's here-- in Awaji of all places.
This is their lounge which doubles as
Check-in and Check-out area.
They sit you down and give you sweets and tea at Check-in.
- Breakfast -
Like traditional Ryokans, they will ask you when you plan to eat breakfast
as they reserve the same table for you from dinner.
It was a good spread
(though mostly skewed towards fish...but it is Japan after all).
More fish items
I get the fish...but can someone please explain why there's
Chicken Nuggets and Spaghetti for breakfast??
Overall, we highly recommend Amahara and look forward to revisiting in the future.
The service was exceptional and food incredible.
Special thanks to Miss. Kaori Inaba who was super kind and made our stay so memorable
She really went out of her way to answer our every question and request.
From the moment we stepped into Amahara/ Yumesenkei,
to them bidding us farewell,
we felt pampered all the way.
When we first arrived at the Sumoto bus terminal (we took the highway bus),
the shuttle driver from another Hotel New Awaji branch came over to
help us with our luggage and directed us to the right shuttle driver.
We didn't catch his name but we are really grateful.
I had contacted Amahara's staff through e-mail months prior to our visit,
and their staff always
responded quickly to help me with access information.
While it's pricey, it definitely lives up to it's accolades (highest honor in the Michelin Guide).
here's another reason you should visit Awaji.
Though next time, we are definitely hunting down some Awaji Beef Burgers and staying here for longer!
- ACCESS OPTIONS -
When I first started planning this visit, I got a bit confused as there's not a whole lot of information in English and there's more than one bus station near the Ryokan.