Lovely Ryokan in Hakone
Aura Tachibana is in Hakone, the hot springs resort only 36 minutes away from Tokyo
on the shinkansen (high-speed train). The staff are so overly friendly in a great way; they greet you green tea and hot towels, and help you book any soak in a hot spring you'd like upon arrival. The rooms are spacious and traditional Japanese style, with Western bathrooms. They're very nice and very seamless with nature outside. Think rain showers with floor-to-ceiling glass walls onto the balcony. Sleeping on the tatami mats is a fun experience, but even better is dressing in a kimono and slippers for dinner and breakfast (shown), which are all included with your stay. The meals were both memorable - more courses than I can remember, and all very interesting. I highly recommend Aura Tachibana if you need a little escape from metropolitan life while on your trip!