In the Izu peninsula, just south of Tokyo with its expressive neighborhoods filled with busy people, lies Ito, where it only takes one onsen to bring you back down to heightened normalcy. An onsen is a natural hot spring and fun fact: Japan has the most in the world. Some seaside towns, Ito for example, sell ‘onsen passes’ to visit multiple throughout the town with different features like co-ed onsens or waterfalls cascading into the spring (sounds really hard I know).
After Tokyo, Simon and I were ready to enjoy another part of Japan, and Ito made it very easy. During the day we visited a natural reserve near Ito, including riding to the top of a volcano on a chair lift and crossing a 200 ft suspension bridge above the Pacfiic ocean. Needless to say, the adventurous spirit of the Pennisula can turn anyone into a badass.
The view from the top of Ohmuro Volcano
Not a very uplifting ticket!
The eastern side of the Pacific Ocean
We stayed at a ryokan, which is a traditional Japanese hotel with tatami mats and three all-natural onsens inside. The remarkable element of ryokan is something found in almost every aspect of Japanese culture: simplicity with intention. To the common eye, the room looked so bare, without a TV or a bed, it didn’t seem worth the price, yet we were so satisfied with our stay and the peace the ryokan contained.
Peace, love, ryokan