Birthday Roadtrip to Chichibu Saitama

Its the start of another week! How was everyone’s weekend?
I didnt get up to much this weekend but i did try to add a few new things to my autumn waredrobe. Will try to post them sometime this week [cos i know some of you are curious abt clothes i buy..though honestly i have like no fashion sense and may not be the best guide XD!]

Anyway today’s post is about my birthday roadtrip!
We chose to go to Chichibu Saitama which is about 1.5hrs drive from Tokyo. Its at the far end of Saitama away from Tokyo.
Where we stayed for the night : 旅籠一番 〒368-0002 埼玉県秩父市栃谷645

My birthday fell on a Tuesday this year [5th Oct] so massive thanks to all my friends that took the day off to come on this trip with me. Esp to the husband cos he couldnt take a second day off and had to rush back to work the next morning!!! This is also the reason why we chose to go Chichibu..its proximity to Tokyo [abt 1.5hrs drive]
We stayed at a ryokan called HatagoIchiban

This ryokan is incredibly quaint and seems to be runned by a small family.

This is the main building

Entrance way. The doors to the right of this pic is the dining area. They do not serve food in your rooms.

There are 2 types of rooms here, the basic room which doesnt have a bathroom/toilet or the suites which have their own private onsen tubs. There is also an annex [building across] with basic rooms. But the ryokan’s public onsens are in the main building so you would have to walk across to use them.

The husband and i chose to stay in the suites as he does not like to use public onsens.
Its on the attached “balcony” of the room. This is a rotenburo [open air onsen tub]

Note: these rooms do not have showers indoors. You will need to shower on this balcony aka outdoors. But you are very much sheltered. Unless a low bearing helicopter flies by. XD

And you know what my favourite part of going to a ryokan is? The FOOD.
Like i mentioned before, this place is family owned so the food is all cooked by this old grandma.
And you just KNOW they have the best food.

My absolute favourite
Its a mountain mushroom they picked that morning and i swear it tasted like MEAT.

Homemade udon noodles

Sukiyaki nabe


Now i cant tell you what happened that night XD Cos it was a tuesday, there was only 1 other guest other than us. So you know we got up to no good. HAHAHAHAHA

The next morning, some of us visited the temple across the ryokan
When i said some of us, i didnt include me as i was soaking in the tub XD  Hence no photos of the temple from me XD

There was breakfast as well…

And an amazing cup of tea, i sooo want this spoon btw

And i knew this place was meant for me. This is the back of the rice bowl they had for breakfast.
For those interested to visit/stay at HatagoIchiban, this is their website

Btw Chichibu is extremely famous for a park which has the largest area of 芝桜 [type of Sakura] in Kanto. So if you are in town during the Sakura season, this place is very very much worth the visit.
Here’s the news footage from last year!

Learn more at Chichibu’s official website
I havent actually been to see this myself! I hope to go there next year.
I will certainly be staying at HatagoIchiban though!

This post ended up a lot longer than i thought so i cant do my usual Monday randomness post XD
But i’ll be back to more posting later this week
Till then,
XOXO Yumeko

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45 Responses to Birthday Roadtrip to Chichibu Saitama

  1. Justine says:

    The private onsen looks nice – don’t like the idea of showering a balcony, low-flying helicopters non-withstanding XD;

    The food looks amazing!! I want to try that mushroom. And haha… glad you had a good birthday-night. 😉

    I don’t know what most of that food in the pic is, but I really want to try all of it!

  2. May says:

    glad you had a relaxing birthday with you friends and hubby. 1.5 hours drive from Tokyo is not bad at all. showering outdoor hehe oh i’m drooling over your food ahahah

  3. Kaiami says:

    That looks relaxing. I want to go to an onsen. My mom isn’t very fond of bathing with other people around, so I never get to go. Your pictures are always so pretty!

    • Bittenbefore says:

      definetely, i can understand a lot of ppl who arent used to it, to find bathing with other people a little different/strange
      my husband doesnt like it either! [he’s australian so he isnt used to this]
      so i always book a room with a private tub. hope these places are good suggestions for you!

  4. tsuki says:

    Oooh, the more I read your blog, the more I want to visit Japan. The ryokan food looks super tasty, and its so funny that the rice bowl says ‘yume’ on the bottom!

    • Bittenbefore says:

      u should come visit japan!! i hope my blog posts encourage u to see the real japan. beyond the touristy areas

  5. kurainanimo says:

    Family-run ryokans are always the best 🙂

    Glad you had a relaxing birthday treat!

  6. Mishi says:

    WOW..this place is sooooo beautiful! It looks super relaxing and the food is making me droool!

  7. Krib says:

    It’s so nice, i’m glad you got to go on a trip for your birthday :p

  8. Catherine says:

    Wow, looks like it was a really lovely relaxing trip! Your photos are all so beautiful Yumeko!! ♥

  9. ritzyroxie says:

    I’m a pretty new reader of your blog, but i’ve read back through your posts and I really love all the quaint places you go to! It’s so nice to see a side of Japan that’s not all neon and urban.

    • Bittenbefore says:

      thank you! u are very sweet!
      i try to show you guys my side of japan, away from the typical touristy areas and how the locals live ^^

  10. miya says:

    Oh! How funny, the Mr. is from Chichibu!

    I hope you enjoyed your birthday trip. The food looks delicious and the building (interior and exterior) is so beautiful. 🙂

    • Bittenbefore says:

      tat is sooo cool! do ask him what he reccomends to do in chichibu! we didnt do much since we only had a day and wanted to spend most of our time in the ryokan but i would love to go back

      • miya says:

        I asked him what there is to do in Chichibu and he said, “Nothing,” but went on to say that the 紅葉 is beautiful (but crowded!). There’s also a soba restaurant called “Wahei Soba” (he says it’s written in hiragana) that, apparently, is good. He recommends the “kurumi soba”. In early December (like around the 3rd), there’s a big matsuri that is, he says, third largest in Japan.

        Hope this helps! 🙂

  11. Georgina says:

    im glad you had a fun yet relaxing kind of celebration yumeko! cheers to being a year wiser! 😉 xx 🙂

  12. Dina (XYYan) says:

    The birthday roadtrip looks awesome! The fried mushroom looks super delish~ 😀

    • Bittenbefore says:

      it totally tasted like me, we had to ask the baa-chan [old grandma chef] several times to reconfirm XD

  13. Mira says:

    Woahh!! Yummy foods! My stomach is growling right now 😡
    The onset is so interesting! I dunno if I can used to outdoor type like that :p
    Thanks for sharing! Happy week to ya! (((((:

  14. Yasumi says:

    Wowsers!!! Sounds like you had a great time and yes…ahem, ladies never kiss and tell.

    Ryokan brekkies are sublime!!

  15. *Kat* says:

    The food looks so delicious Yumeko! I especially love the breakfasts that are served in the traditional ryokan.


  16. Magda says:

    OMGomgOMG, rotenburo and ryokan food, sooooo good~~~~~~~~~I really really miss ryokan service! <3333 More posts like this please, more posts overall, your blog is great 8D

    • Bittenbefore says:

      thank you, you are very sweet! i have a lot of travel posts if u go backwards, hope u enjoyed them too!
      i will post more! thankyou

  17. Connie says:

    That food looks so good! But I think for your next trip you need to go some place with some capybaras. Just sayin’ 😀

  18. Calia Yang says:

    You make Japan look even MORE enticing!! this is one trip that I HAVE TO MAKE before I die! That’s what the hubs and I wanna do – go to japan for like a month! hahah

  19. Jolene says:

    The ryokan looks realy quaint and lovely. My my.. I was drooling at all the food. It should taste realy good since it’s home-cooked. I love seeing this part of Japan. Most japan photos on people’s blogs are the more touristy ones. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bittenbefore says:

      thank you!! i dont really do the tourist stuff in japan [well i am not a tourist XD] so i always wonder if ppl would be interested in the things i post. thank you so much for reading!!!!

  20. Eva says:

    that Ryokan looks so nice!! I went to public ones when I went to japan in the summer its was interesting but not as uncomfortable as i thought it would be haha I really love Hakone!! mmm the food looks amazing!

    • Bittenbefore says:

      hakone has great onsens! i bet u had a wonderful time! come back in winter! its a lot lot prettier XOXO

  21. WOWW the food looks so amazing! not super fancy but homemade and yummy…it’s making me drool o.O That looks like such a nice place to stay for a short trip and just get away! I’m glad you had a good birthday 🙂

  22. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday!! I hope you had a ton of fun. =] Those are mountain mushrooms?!! They look like fried chicken! hahha!

    • Bittenbefore says:

      they taste like fried chicken too XD!!! well ok not exactly but it was really good. seriously i kept doubling checking they were mushroom haha

  23. wuzzyangel says:

    I”m glad you had a great bday trip w/the hubby and friends!! Damnn that place looks soo relaxing and fun. And the FOOD!!!! DROOLs……….

    I NEEED to get my arse to JP!

  24. Stephanie says:

    the food looks delish! The place looked fun and I’m impressed how clean and nice the tub looks! 🙂

  25. Miruku says:

    How pretty! I love ryokans – especially the food. It’s nice you could have quite a private time. I think you made the right choice to soak in the tub in the morning. I’d do the same! ;p

  26. exoticjapan says:

    Wow, great photos again, and the food looks really nice. Thanks for introducing that place to us. Sakie and I should really vist there when I am back in Japan from my business trip. 🙂

  27. sacha says:

    the ryokan is so pretty ^^ I love traditional houses!

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