This is a short post on the ryokan I stayed in Gero Onsen (下呂温泉), Gifu Prefecture. Read my previous post on Seki City Swordsmith. ^^

I loooove Onsen and I was so excited to visit Gero Onsen as it is one of the top 3 famous springs in Japan (I think rated based on the quality of the hotspring), along with Kusatsu onsen (草津温泉) in Gunma Prefecture (which I visited when I was 8 months pregnant with Junya in 2014!) as well as Arima Onsen (有馬温泉) in Hyogo Prefecture.

Other famous onsen you should keep in your list include Beppu Onsen (Oita Prefecture), Yufuin Onsen (Oita Prefecture), Dogo Onsen (Ehime Prefecture), Kinugawa Onsen (Tochigi Prefecture), Hakone Onsen (Kanagawa Prefecture), etc. I think after my #47prefecturemission, I am going to have an Onsen-tour and also Jinja (shrine) tour. It’s very mentally refreshing and spiritually lifting.

Due to a tight schedule, we didn’t get to explore Gero city, but spent a relaxing night at the traditional ryokan located just 3 minutes away from JR Gero Station.

Suimeikan 水明館‎

Love this illustration in the ryokan! Feeling the spring beckoning. ^^

A spacious lobby looking out to a gorgeous Japanese-style garden.

Festive decorations to welcome Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day).

Other than its 3 public onsen baths, there’s also a swimming pool!


A souvenir shop offering all the local specialties, and just in season – everything cherry blossom! I bought the preserved sakura petals. There are also sakura tea, sakura jam, sakura confectionery…

My room is western-style with bed. I actually prefer Washitsu but bed is good too!

If you have been to ryokan before, I’m sure you notice that there’s always a small sweet snack (usually a local delicacy) on the table to welcome its guests, and tea leaves you can make yourself a hot cuppa. At first I thought it was just the ryokan’s hospitality to share its local yummy treats, but it’s actually more than just that!

I learnt from Japanese TV (Japanese TV feeds my brain haha) that the small gesture is actually meant to make sure that the guests have the best time going to the onsen! How so? By consuming a little sweet treat, it prevents one from getting light-headed from entering a hot bath on an empty stomach. That’s really thoughtful omotenashi spirit. #ilovejapan.

You know what’s better? Their toilet paper.

My god this is the first time I see the toilet paper folded this way!! (usually it is just a simple triangle). What intricate designs they gonna do next, an origami gyoza?? I was so amazed that I took photos of the folds so that I could replicate it. Alright. Squares instead of triangle for my home toilets.

(Am I the only person who gets excited over toilet roll folds?! Please tell me I’m not alone.)

(Ok you know what, Gyoza toilet paper folds already exists. Or at least gyoza-looking folds. It’s called the Pleated Tuck. I just googled.)

(OK WHAT THE HELL. They freaking fold their toilet papers into hearts, roses, clovers, cranes, neckties, Mt Fuji, ribbons, butterflies and erm… dragon. and a… Goddess? Apparently it took 30 hours to fold a dragon. You probably need a really bad diarrhoea to make that one.)

(Ok. There’s a website dedicated to toilet paper folding. It’s called Toilet Origami. Alright glad to know that I’m not the only one.)

(I just spent the last 20 minutes watching toilet paper origami tutorial videos. This is getting too much. Alright. Challenge accepted. The danna’s gonna come home to different paper animals and stuff ready to kiss his ass every day.)

(Sorry if that was too much. Now back to origami original topic.)

View from room!

Changed into yukata and took a stroll in the outdoor area of the ryokan.

Can you believe this is a view within a ryokan?😍


Our banquet dinner at night.

Kaiseki style.

The main highlight of the day was the Hoba Leaf Miso Grilled Wagyu, a Hida Takayama specialty. The miso was slightly sweet and very flavorful (might be a little too salty if you mix it all, but it’s perfect if you have a bowl of rice to go with.), and was a great match to the soft, juicy beef.

Ahhh Japanese wagyu is still the best.

With Tai Tai from Taiwan.


3 fake Japanese okusan again haha. We should totally have a club for this.

That’s all for today! Next up it’s Hida Takayama, which is made world-famous by the anime “Your Name”.