There is something exotic and very reflective of the heart of Japan to stay in an old wooden ryokan, a fast flowing river in front before big hills that surround. Add to that open air hot spring baths. Kawayu Onsen is one of those places. In 2013 four of us old gents stayed in the Kameya Inn (a couple of stories about that are here)
A return trip in 2016 focused on the Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival. With most of the locals involved in the festival, including our Kameya Inn hosts who close the ryokan on festival day, the much bigger and formal Midoriya Hotel became our spot.
And it was very good! The Japanese Room was great, a fabulous overlook to the percolating river running by, the hills around, and down to the outdoor onsen.
Veronica and I don’t usually do repeat visits to places. 3 years of me saying ‘I need to take you to Kawayu Onsen’ was well worth it. While I missed the homeliness of the Kameya Inn, the Midoriya Hotel has its own certain charm with excellent service. And with the added experience of the Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival, it was worth the second visit.