Hotel Ichibo, located along Skyline Drive south of Mt. Tsukuba, has opened a fancy new "rajiumu onsen senta" called "Tsukuba Yuu". "Rajiumu" is Japanese for "radium", though its a bit of a mystery as to why a hot springs would be associated with a radioactive element ?? especially in Japan! Presumably, there are only normal, harmless levels of radiation in the water (or the health department wouldn't allow it to open!). The complex includes 6 styles of baths on each side of the men's and women's sides, including open air baths, saunas and cold water baths (for you "Polar Bear Club" members). There is also a "family bath" that can be rented exclusively for 45 minute sessions for 2000 yen.
The regular entrance fee for the main baths is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children 2 to 12. If you forget to bring your own towels, they are available for rent for 100 yen each. In addition to the baths, the center features a wide variety of other activities including karaoke, a game center and a restaurant. Being a hotel, you can, of course, spend the night in a fancy room. Depending on the weather, the view from the ridge looking out over the Kanto Plain can be spectacular. To get there, it is best to go up the road past the Tsukuba Shrine to the traffic light at the top of the ridge. Continue for a few hundred meters from there along the ridge to the right. For information or reservations, call 66-2222.
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