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Monday, January 20, 2014

Yunessun and Yutopia Hot Springs

Since 2011 I've wanted to make our way to the Yunessun hot springs in Hakone, Japan. In 2011 we couldn't go because we were evacuated before we had the chance, in 2013 we didn't go because we weren't sure how Gabriel would do as a baby but this year though pregnant we decided to finally pull the trigger!

The ride up was quite the adventure. We grabbed a train next door to our apartment (way better than the mile walk we had to the train station last year and before), rode it to Ofuna, transfer to the Tokaido Line and rode it to Odawara. At Odawara we got on the Hakone Tozan Railway and missed the memo where we needed to transfer to a different train on the same line so we started heading in the opposite direction. Finally me made our last transfer that was a crazy train ride of switchback up a mountain! After all the trains we took a bus to our hotel up the hill.

I'll be honest, yes Yunessen/Tutopia was fun but also felt sort of anti-climatic for me. I've been looking forward to this visit for years now so I've really built it up. Maybe it was because I experienced the most stressful 5 minutes of my life shortly before (almost had a full out meltdown on the bus when the driver wouldn't let us use the handy cap door and instead wanted us to collapse our stroller which shouldn't have been an issue but it was. I know, sounds like a small task but tickets went flying, our D90 hit the ground, Gabriel was passed his patience level, we had more items than hands, the Japanese who are usually good at keeping an unreadable face were very obviously overwhelmed by us... etc.), or maybe it was because it was freezing outside and walking form spring to spring wasn't very fun.

Gabriel being the bath lover he is absolutely loved every minute of it, thank goodness! We had to keep a close eye on him because though he loves water he isn't aware of the dangers of it yet- he kept wanting to backwards crawl into the pool... he knew it was a step down into the water so he treated it like the stairs.

The theme pools we enjoyed (me mainly calf down due to pregnancy) were wine, green tea, charcoal, and coffee. There were a few others we we decided to pass on due to weather. The wine pool was fun because we managed to get there right before the performance and had wine sprayed all over us. The coffee pool was the most relaxing because it smelled absolutely amazing.

What was a fascinating experience was the feet nibbling fish! Chris and I have heard about this for awhile but hadn't had the opportunity to try it. The feeling of fish nibbling at my feet wasn't strange unless I watched it- Chris and I both agreeded to this. Some of the fish were a lot bigger and you could definitely tell where they were munching. It didn't hurt, more of a tickle.

I'm looking forward to visiting again someday when I'm not all emotionally wound up from stress and pregnancy. I think it will be a fun place to return in a few years when Gabriel is a little older. And maybe we'll wait until later in the year when it isn't snowing.

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  1. Oh I bet that was so relaxing on the prego belly and back! I love getting in our hot tub and relaxing. Having our hot tub during this pregnancy has made a huge difference.

    I can't wait to explore this area next year!

  2. Oh gosh I don't think I could handle the fish tickling my feet. Definitely looks like a unique experience!

  3. Wine pool? Coffee pool? I've never heard of those before! So interesting. (One question though, were they okay with you guys wearing bathing suits? I know most places insist that you bring only a towel. Just curious!)

  4. I am so glad you use the hot tub while pregnant! I didn't think it would be that bad if I limited myself but i still felt like people would "judge." Thanks for always being my preggo-mommy support (remember when I panicked to you about the vaccination controversy? :) )

  5. So weird. My mom said it's illegal in the states, haha!

  6. Yes! Bathing suits were required where we were at. Thy do have a section of the park that bathing suits are not allowed in true Japanese fashion. :) It's hidden so you never see it unless you go there.

  7. If my doctor gives the okay then I'm okay with it during my pregnancy :) I am all about taking control of MY pregnancy. I'm sure people judge me, but I really don't care. If those people want to worry about something thats not their issue, then that's their problem. I will even let you in on a little secret… I've even had wine and beer during this pregnancy *GASP*! Again, my doctor gave the ok on an occasional drink ;) Do what you feel is right for you! Take care and enjoy the little things in life!

  8. I would want to drink the coffee pool! I would have freaked out with the feet nibbling fish, couldn't do it.


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