Nestled at the bottom of a ravine surrounded by mountains, this remote traditional inn in Kuroishi City is the ultimate off-the-grid destination. With neither electricity nor cellphone reception, it can offer those fatigued from the incessant flow of information a time of relaxation and tranquility.
Here, guests can enjoy the freedom of time, soaking in the hot onsen, reading a book, strolling along the creek, trekking in the mountains or simply relaxing in their rooms. When night comes, a kerosene lamp is lit in each room, adding to the inn’s idyllic atmosphere.
The onsen here is exceptionally good. Pure and fresh, the hot spring can warm you up to the core in a matter of minutes, loosening up your tightly strung body as if its water were enchanted. Guests can choose from four communal baths, each with distinct character: two sets of gender-separated baths, one large and one small, all lined with fragrant cedar wood; another gender-separated bath with a combination of one indoor and one outdoor tub; and a mixed gender outside bath overlooking the creek.
Food is another pull of this cozy inn. Prepared from scratch using locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible, the dinner gives guests a chance to appreciate the traditional local cuisine. The star ingredients are foraged plants, including honey mushrooms, butterbur scape and bracken sprouts. This inn is a true testament to the dictum “less is more”.
The Lamp Inn is open throughout the year. It is only accessible by car or a shuttle bus that departs from the nearest roadside station, Nijinoko. Advance booking is necessary to board the shuttle bus. The road leading to the inn is closed to the general public from December to March, and the shuttle bus is the only way to reach the inn.
There is a local bus service from Kuroishi Station to the Nijinoko roadside station, which takes about forty minutes. It takes approximately one and a half hours by train to reach Kuroishi Station from the Shin-Aomori Shinkansen Station.