Before the winter holiday at the last of December, I got an opportunity travelling to another part of Japan for my Study on Japanese Companies and Industries Class. And what that place is? People here call it as Atami City. Actually this city is not that far away from Tokyo in Shizuoka Perfecture (the same perfecture with Fujisan).That time, we only spend around 2-3 hours by bus to reach this city from Tokyo.
We live in one of ryokan, which is a Japanese traditional inn, i this city Atami Heart of Pia. Typically, this is featured with tatami floor, communal baths, and also at night we sleep in Japanese traditional futon (not in bed) at night. It also has onsen (Japanese public bath) inside. This is my first experience to live in this kind of inn. I felt luck because that from our room's window, we can see directly Atami beach and also the serve us welcome drink (green tea=ocha) and also cake made of green tea that I've never tasted before. What makes me even happier is at night, we had dinner inside a kind of Japanese room and each of us got a lot of Japanese food, start from tempura, salad, miso, seafood, shabu shabu, pickles, even pudding and cheese cake which were all are very delicious. To tell you truth, it as my first time to eat that lot of food in once time since I come in Japan. ^_^
|Ryokan, Scenerie from Window, Dinner, and Welcoming Drink/Cakes|
I visit this city for 2 days one night. I myself think that impressive ones that you might get from this city are onsen, shrine, and also beach.
KINOMIYA SHRINE (Atami Famous Shrine)
Onsen or hot spring is one of the place that marks this city. Japanese onsens can be foun indoor and outdoor, but in this case the ryokan where I stayed have indoor onsen so the guest doesn't need to find other onsen. At first, I thought that onsen is just a sual public bath with geothermally got water inside. But actually, it is not that simple...because the source of hot water is from the earth, so it contains many minerals such as sodium chloride, carbonic, sulphire, iron, or other kind of minerals which depend on the location itself. Those might be the reason why Japanese believe that onsen water can be medicine to treat some medical problems. Minerals in water might affect the water and many other other substance balance in your body which might be good for sickness. But in other hand, for health people or people have blood pressure or heart disorder, being inside the onsen for too long time or too often might cause some side effects such as dizzy, feel weak, and cold. So be careful about that.
Before entering the onsen to have relaxation, the important one is that people have to wash themself to assure the cleanliness of their body will not affect others inside the onsen. Besides that, wahat I personally don't like is that you are not allowed to use any clothe when you enter it. I myself think it would be much better if they provide private personal onsen. On the map and on the front of onsen usually there is hiragana (yu) that means hot water. Besides ryokan's private onsen, in atami there are other famous onsens, such as Kawara, Sajiro, Seizaemaon, Furo and Mizu, Oh, Kosawa, and Nonaka Hotsprings.
|Onsen in Atami (in place where I stay)|
Indonesia Boys in Yukata that Use Before/Ater Using Onsen
KINOMIYA SHRINE (Atami Famous Shrine)
Including to what I read, this shrine is worshiped as deity of fishery and forestry. Inside this shrine, can be found a very big camphor tree which is 2000 years old. The interesting one is about the myth that said if you walk around this big tree you can extend your life by 1 year. There are some people believe it but of course not many people believe it, including I myself as a moslem. In Islamic, we are of course not allowed to believe in this kind of thing :D because it can categorized as Shirk/Syirik (polytheism/deification and worship of anyone and anything other than Allah, as the singular God in the universe). Syirik is one of the sins that can't be apologized by God.
"Say you, He is Allah The One. Allah The Independent, Care Free. He begote none, was He begotten. And nor anyone is equal to Him" (Al-Qur'an Surah Al Ikhlas:1-4)
"Verify Allah will not forgive the sin of shirk, and He forgives all sins, apart from this (Shirk, for whom He wills" (Al-Qur'an Surah An-Nisa:48)
Like another Shinto shrine that can be found in Japan, this shrine has a welcome gate entrance (Torii), a place to clean up your hands and mouth (purification trough), offering hall (haiden), hang wooden plates to write the pray (ema), tress that tight with some omikuji (fortune telling paper ranging from daikichi/good luck or daikyo/badluck), and also straw rope with zigzag paper strips (shimenawa) that mark the boundary of sacred things.
|Torii of Kinomiya Shrine, My Group Inside the Shrine, The Sacred Tree, and Haiden|
Yup...although it is not that big, I think the beach in Atami is clean and people relax enjoying the blue water, white sand, and palm tree. Near the bay and port, you can also find some boat that is parked around.
|Atami Beach and Bay|
|Taking Photos Around the Beach|
That's all about Atami. It is a good experience to visit there. And actually there is one that I think is very unique and can be potential about this city that might not be found in many other places. You can see mountain and beach in one place (because usually when you can see beach, you will not be able to see sea and vice versa). :) So, Atami be a good choice for you who is busy and wanna spend your holiday in a new atmosphere and somewhere different with crowded big city like Tokyo. Enjoy ^_^ !!!