A little glimpse into my daily life

    My stay in Izu Japan

    My angels! In my latest Japan blogpost (which you can read here) I told you there were more to come! I loved our time in Tokyo and I could have spend weeks there exploring the different areas. On the day we were heading to Izu, we started our exploring the Ceramic area: kappabashi. You could easily spend an entire day wandering Tokyo’s “kitchen town” known as Kappabashi.

    Kappabashi is one long street full of ceramics, kitchen equipment, plastic food, installation etc. We went there round 11.30 am on a Monday and there were almost no people and no tourist to be found. Lovely place to buy plates, bowls, soya bowls, coffee mugs, tea pots and much more. Here you will find everything you can imagine and the famous plastic food installations which they in Japan have in front of most restaurant to display what sort of food they do. It’s s super fun experience to see and a great place to shop for beautiful handmade ceramics.

    Find the market on this address: 3 Chome-18-2 Matsugaya, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0036, Japan

    After Kappabashi market we went to Tokyo Central Station to catch the train to Izu. Izu is a short 2 hours train journey from Tokyo and so worth a visit! I was grateful that Small Luxury Hotels of the world decided to show us both the buzzing and exciting Tokyo but also showed us, that there is much more beauty to Japan. If you’re there for such a short amount of time like I was, there’s no chance you’ll see even half of it but that gives you a good excuse for coming back. There is so much more to Japan than Tokyo, and like I said, I am so grateful Small Luxury Hotel showed me that. I got to explore Izu and if I have had more time I would have planned a trip to Kyoto as well. The countryside is worth to explore and it’s easy with the good train connection.

    A 2 hours train journey by the West cost of Tokyo along the Pacific coast, you get to Izu Peninsula. 

    Here we stayed at the beautiful and harmonious ABBA resort. From its humble beginnings half a century ago, when it was a small traditional ryokan, Izu has evolved into a spacious yet intimate retreat famous for their hot springs. 

    This is the place to experience Japanese cultural activities, this is also where I got to try my first Japanese tea ceremony. (Read about why you MUST try a Japanese tea ceremony if you go to Japan HERE)

    Abba Resort is a dream destination since it’s a cultural big experience. Here I really got to feel the strong traditions and had some of the biggest food experiences I’ve ever had.

    This boutique hotel is perfect for rest and play. The ancient meaning of the resort’s name translates as ‘sit back and enjoy’. Abba Resort started 50 years ago with only 4 rooms, and have now got 32. The hotel is located in a residential area with big and beautiful houses, which is one of the things I really like about this place. It is far away from noise and tourists. 

    Like rest of the gorgeous hotels Small Luxury Hotels of the world represents Abba Resort is a small boutique hotel with just 30 rooms with a stunning mixture of Japanese and western style luxury decor rooms.

    Every room or should I say every villa have it’s own hot springs there’s always heated, which I LOVED. Every night after dinner I sat here listening to the birds and watched the moon. It was just as magical as it sounds.

    Coming from busy Tokyo to Izu was wonderful, you immediately felt the calmness. I understand why izu is famous, since it’s a great escape place. Here you can be active, you can go for long walks in the mountains, visit the charming cherry blossoms parks, sink into the hot spring with a good glass of wine, go for hikes in the mountains, walk along the coast like and much more.

    I am truly loving the interiors of their stunning villas. They were airy and bright with big sliding windows looking out on your own garden. 

    Big bathrooms, natural tones, bamboo sliding walls, woven floors and what I loved the most was the jacuzzi. The most romantic place to bring your partner for a little weekend getaway.

    When I knew I was going to travel to Japan one of the things I was the most excited about was the food. I am a massive food lover, and I am always excited to try new dishes. I knew Japan was going to be a whole new experience for me, and I was right! Especially Abba Resort was amazing for this. I truly felt I got to try the real Japanese traditions doing my stay.

    For breakfast you can choose between a western breakfast, which offers most of the things you would find in England and Denmark like yoghurt, pastries, fruit etc. but you can also choose the Japanese one. If you are adventures and not afraid to try something else, then you must try it!

    The guests will be shown into one of their 7 private rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor. The restaurant offers an authentic Japanese cuisine that has been passed down at Zagyosoh. Here you relax whilst they serve you the most interesting food. They use an array of fresh seafood sent directly from nearby fishing ports as well as locally-grown ingredients. Custom-ordered dishes as well as a variety of Japanese sake- shochu. One thing I loved was that we got to meet the wonderful and talented chef, it made the experience even more magical.

    Small Luxury Hotels of the world made sure that we got to see the most we possibly could doing our short stay in Izu. We had a lovely driver from our hotel driving us round from place to place. 

    We started the day out visiting Mount Omuro. It is an extinct volcano near the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula. You take a cable car up to the top where you get a stunning view over Mount Fuji.

    From the top you get a stunning 360 degrees panoramic view, which left us girls speechless. 

    Izu Peninsula is known for its natural beauty the Jogasaki Coast is on many guides lists to do whilst here. Here you can walk along the coast and see some of the most stunning views. We got to go to the Kadowakizaki Suspension Bridge. Here you will find an unbelievably magical view and the sound of the waves is the best medicine for stress.

    One thing you MUST do if you visit Izu is go to restaurant Omuro Keishokudothe. It is just by the entrance next to the cable car of Mount Omuro. From the outside to be honest it doesn’t look any good, but don’t get fooled. Here I got one of the best meals of my life, I can still remember the taste when I think of it. Yummy!

    As soon as you enter the restaurant you will fall in love with the place. I love the natural decor and the food is just… Wow! 

    On our way back to Abba Resort after an exciting day exploring we passed by this ceramics shop. It looked closed from the outside, but knocked on the doors and lucky enough the owners let us in, and my jaw drop to the floor. I just entered into heaven! I ended up spending way too much money on the most gorgeous handmade coffee cups. 

    The place is called: Ennokama, and a hidden gem you MUST write on your to do list if you come to Izu. Here they actually offer pottery schools. It was one of the most beautiful, chic shops I’ve ever seen.

    One of my greatest and most exciting experiences from Japan was when Abba Resort surprised us with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. They gave us an unforgettable stay! Every morning they dress up in their beautiful traditional Japanese kimono dresses. After trying it on myself – you really shouldn’t underestimate how much work and time goes into their uniform. It takes them approx. 30 every morning to get dressed, as it requires many different layers that must be tie together, and they put a lot of effort and time into wearing correctly, and one’s hair should always be worn up with a kimono dress.

    It truly admire how much work that goes into it. Each type of garment is dedicated to a special occasion, such as festivals, ceremonies or weddings. The materials, colors and layers distinguish them and their significance, as the materials is also often seasonally. Their clothing is a large part of their culture and represents Japan’s traditional values, and today it’s just as significant as it used to be, although most Japanese people do not wear them daily.
    (Read more about the tea ceremony HERE)

    My visit to Abba Resort is amongst one of my biggest travel experiences I have ever had. I hope you enjoyed reading about my stay and my few Izu travel tips.

    Lots of love from your Isabella xxx

    Thank you Small Luxury Hotels of the world for giving me a trip of a lifetime. I am forever grateful..

    15th maj 2019