by Brian - JAPANiCAN.com Staff
This past month, I was invited to go check out a ryokan in Hakone called Hakone Kowakudani Onsen Mizunoto. The "Hakone" part of their name is obvious, and the "Kowakudani Onsen" part refers to the ryokan's specific location in within Hakone, as well as the hot spring spas it offers its guests. The final part of the name, "Mizunoto", is really the kernel, not just of the name but of the concept of this ryokan itself. Literally meaning "the sound(s) of water", the name itself invokes a naturally tranquil and refreshing image. Upon my arrival (and stay), I was pleasantly surprised to discover the scope to which Mizunoto incorporates this concept both inside and out.