Atami Sekitei Ryokan

A relaxing stay in Atami Sekitei, Izu (30 Sep - 2 Oct 2013)
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Tea time in Atami Sekitei enjoying matcha and a bear cookie from Pets De Donne.
Tea time in Atami Sekitei enjoying matcha and a bear cookie from Pets De Donne.

I am pretty obsessed with ryokans and onsens. When planning this girlie trip, it was a unanimous decision that we should stay in a traditional ryokan.

Entrance of Atami Sekitei
Entrance of Atami Sekitei

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Izu Peninsula is famous for its onsens (hot springs), and many resorts. There were many nice modern ones, but hard to find really old traditional ryokans housed in old buildings, with decent sized rooms and a private open air bath so that we didn’t have to bare our bodies to the rest of the ladies.

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After much research, I found Atami Sekitei, a traditional ryokan, which met all our requirements and budget. I booked the larger room – the Villa S (With a private open-air bath) at a cost of 39,000 yen per person per night, which includes breakfast and dinner. At this price, it’s considered more luxurious but considering the size of the rooms and amenities, it is the market rate. The ryokan rooms are calculated based on mat size, our room was 15 + 10 mats which was one of the largest in the area. Generally, 10 tatami mats would be equivalent to 178 sq ft, so our room was around 445 sq ft, which is very generous.

Love how the rooms are built around the stone slabs and terraneous gardens.
Love how the rooms are built around the stone slabs and terraneous gardens.

The name of our room - literal translation is
The name of our room – literal translation is “Hot Sea”

The ryokan is located in an odd corner along a narrow windy road, but it was not hard to spot, as there were staff waiting outside to usher in guests. It looked like they were waiting for us. It was a nice first impression upon arrival. By the time we checked in properly, it was evening and we were brought to our room.

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Here’s some snapshots of our room below, it was divided into few sections – the bedroom, the living room, a relaxation area which had a massage chair, long hallway which led to the toilet, bathroom, and the outdoor private hot spring bath. Part of the ryokan experience is the dining part, and I intentionally chose this ryokan and room so that we could dine in our ryokan instead of going to a common dining area, which I feel dilutes that experience slightly. We had 2 different Japanese ladies that served us over the 2 days. They were responsible for serving us our meals and also making the futon beds at night after dinner.

Getting comfy drinking the hot tea served to us
Getting comfy drinking the hot tea served to us

Our 'butler'
Our ‘butler’

The bedroom which would be set later with traditional futon beds.
The bedroom which would be set later with traditional futon beds.

Walkway that leads to the bathroom
Walkway that leads to the bathroom

Bathroom
Bathroom

Shower area
Shower area

Private hot bath outside - how lovely!
Private hot bath outside – how lovely!

This was the best - there were Shiseido amenities from cleansing oil to men's shaving foam in the bathroom.
This was the best – there were Shiseido amenities from cleansing oil to men’s shaving foam in the bathroom.

Dinner over the 2 nights comprised of their local produce, I liked the 2nd night food more than the 1st night, also as we had requested for some special items for the 2nd day such as the Wagyu beef and Lobster which we saw on the menu we could order.

This is me below on the first night – can’t wait to dig in! One of the more memorable dishes was a simple grilled eggplant with miso, was so delicious, the miso was really nice, not too salty and very fragrant. A slice of chiffon cake was served with musk melon, a nice end to the meal. Hee hee, our butler lady said that I was very pretty and cute, such a sweet lady 🙂

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Menu for the first night Menu for the first night

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Fresh sashimi
Fresh sashimi

Grilled eggplant with miso - my favourite from the 1st night's dinner
Grilled eggplant with miso – my favourite from the 1st night’s dinner

A slice of musk melon and chiffon cake with pomegrenate
A slice of musk melon and chiffon cake with pomegrenate

Can't wait to dig in!
Can’t wait to dig in!

Drinking some sake - why not?
Drinking some sake – why not?

On the 2nd night, we had a delicious meal, thank god we didn’t eat too heavy a meal prior to this, so we could really enjoy it. The highlight was definitely the wagyu beef cooked on rock salt and the lobster, and my favourite Inaniwa noodles. The best way to end the meal was definitely all our buys from the supermarket – our wonderful musk melon and Kyoho grapes served to us chilled!

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Our 'butler' cooking the beef and vegetables on the rock salt
Our ‘butler’ cooking the beef and vegetables on the rock salt

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Inaniwa noodles - lovely!
Inaniwa noodles – lovely!

Nice touch to serve corn in the Japanese rice.
Nice touch to serve corn in the Japanese rice.

Our lovely fruits to end the meal, yummy yummy.
Our lovely fruits to end the meal, yummy yummy.

The futon bed was quite comfortable, although I slept well, Y and LY didn’t sleep so well, their necks were not so used to these Japanese style pillows. If we had regular pillows, I think it would have been perfect.

And that's me all tucked in bed.
And that’s me all tucked in bed.

Breakfasts were not as heavy as the dinner. It comprised of a main fish dish that we could choose accompanied with many side dishes with rice and soup.

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We had to treat ourselves in the morning to this Hokkaido milk roll which we had bought at the soft ice cream shop next to the Izu Teddy Bear Museum. It was sooooo goooodd!!

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Enjoying my breakfast.
Enjoying my breakfast.

Since we here for 2 nights, we tried to make the most of the hot springs – before dinner and breakfast daily, we were soaking ourselves in the hot springs. We could book their larger hot spring bath for private use so we did that on the 2nd day. Our ‘butler’ led us through lots of windy stoned paths to a very private area which had it’s own private room, massage chair for relaxation, shower area and large hot spring bath all for our own use. According to LY, she says one should do a ‘ritual’ of 10 times of going from the onsen to cold shower, and repeating that. I could only do that for perhaps 5 times before I felt all my fur was gonna get really wrinkled and ruffled.

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The entrance leading to the private hot bath
The entrance leading to the private hot bath

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It was a really lovely stay here, with wonderful hospitable service, friendly staff that made us feel right at home. I took a quick dip in our private bath before we had to say goodbye to Atami Sekitei and all their staff that made the stay even more personal and memorable.

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Atami Sekitei
www.sekitei.co.jp/atami
Address: 6-17 Wadacho, Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture 413-0024, Japan
Phone:+81 557-83-2841
Reservations can be made directly via the booking form on their website.

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