One of the rivers flowing through the mountains in Gifu Prefecture on our way to Syohoen Ryokan.

Syohoen Ryokan

This was the entrance way ... when we got there we sat on the bench and had some tea and dried sweet nuts.

Our room ... well, the door to it!

The main room in the forground and the "patio" with fire pit in the background.

Ashley putting on her Yukata jacket. Once we settled in, we both put our Yukata's on, along with the jackets (cause it was cold) ... 0 degrees.

The gardens on the way to the onsen ... you can see it in the background.

Ashley standing in front of one of the private onsens ... we are headed in.

This private onsen was very natural looking made with rock with natural hot spring water, it is very relaxing.

This is the small stool and bucket you use to wash off with before you enter the onsen, because of course other people use the same water as you ...

you just don't think about it!

This is the view ...

The courtyard at the ryokan

Some koi in the stream they have running through the garden.

The dining room looking over the balcony on the 2nd floor.

Ashley and I meeting dinner, it was very good ...

This was the main course ... the stuff on the white plate is a "salad" with a flower of raw meat (actually very tasty), and the smoked sweet fish!

Our beds for the night, the traditional Japanese futon ... not the most comfortable.

Jonathan getting ready to make a fire in our room ... this is the closest thing we got to a real fire in a fireplace ...

we worked with what we had ... and that is charcoal that Jonathan is getting the pieces out of the "charcoal storage jar."

Ashley playing in the ash, sand, or whatever it is!

Our fire!

Christmas Eve morning, the weather was beautiful!!