So I was the one who insisted on staying in a ryokan. Eddie did say that ryokans are more fun when it's a company function and there are loads of people around. He was kind of right. We felt a bit lost after dinner, no tv to watch, well, there was a small one but it was all Japanese shows, no internet, Brian's Nintendo DS ran out of battery and he forgot his charger...so it was quite a change of pace for us.
Anyway, back to our ryokan experience. Before dinner, we headed for the hot baths. Unlike in Hakone, there is no onsen here, just hot baths, difference being onsens hot water comes from natural hot springs (note to self: save up for ryokan plus onsen in Hakone next). There are two baths in this ryokan, the Roman bath and the cave bath. Same gender only...the baths are open 24 hours, and there is a schedule for men and women to use the different baths at different times of the day.
The Roman bath was really small. I didn't really like this one. This was the one that the boys and Eddie went to first. You need to rinse yourself thoroughly before going in. But what happened was after Eddie stripped the boys and himself, before he could do anything, Sean had jumped into the bath.
This is Sean right after his Roman bath. Looks mighty refreshed.
The cave bath was much bigger and I felt hotter. I liked this bath. The boys and Eddie went the next morning and Brian said Sean's body turned all red after a while. I saw no website saying this, but my Japanese friend Minako mentioned that the emperor himself (not sure if it's the current one) has stayed in Iwamotoro; she found this info in a Japanese website.
All refreshed after our baths, we waited for the main attraction, our dinner! And here's the spread. Little plates of traditional Japanese delicacies, Enoshima-style. Loved it.
Eddie and Brian refused to eat the snail-like dish. When you pick it out, it looks like this! Eeeyewww, you say? Delicious, I say! I ate all 3 of them, 2 courtesy of the 2 Leong chickens. Actually, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to eat the curled intestine-looking part but didn't carelah, just whack the whole thing, that part tasted a bit bitter, but still shiok. When I got back to Moscow, I asked Minako if I was eating it right -- she said only the pros would eat those bits! :) I guess only the pros...and gluttons like me.