北投加賀屋, Kagaya Hot Springs

My mom’s friends decided to take us to the Radium Kagaya International Hotel for afternoon tea and some hot springs. The place is up in Beitou, near the base of the mountains. The rooms are reportedly USD $700-800 a night, which is insane!

Most hot spring resorts in Japan run about half that price and are almost unfailingly amazing and luxurious. Unfortunately, I personally didn’t feel that the Kagaya was worth its hefty price. I don’t recommend spending the night there, but $10-$15 per person to use the public hot springs is not a bad deal.

Although, the facilities weren’t as expansive or as well-planned as its counterparts in Japan. For example, one section of the hot spring was like a jacuzzi bed: you can lie down while getting a water massage. Except…none of the jets can reach you because they’re placed so far from where you’re lying down. The springs were bedded with super pointy stones, which was simply uncomfortable.

Even more importantly, the hot springs weren’t even that hot! Kind of disappointing.

Even so, it was nice feeling toasty and warm. Your skin is soft and supple, and to top it all off, you can sit down for some wonderful afternoon tea.

Thousand-layer crepe cake dusted with powdered sugar, crispy omelets served on baguettes, flan made in-house, and handmade, traditional Japanese mochi (green tea with red bean filling). Oh, and a small chestnut cake–it looks like light brown-skinned mochi. All very much delicate and equally delicious! Great coffee too.

Also, I thought the restrooms were really neat. I’ve yet to see bidets in places other than Asia; they’re toilets that wash and dry your butt for you after you’re done.Your bum must feels so clean after using them. You’re also in control of how strong the jet streams are, which jet streams you want to use, and putting the toilet lid up or down. So cool! There are buttons to shut the lid completely, just open the top, or open both cover and lid.

Angelina’s (now called Climontine) is one of my mom’s and my favorite bakeries. They make this amazing multigrain bread with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cranberries. It’s fluffy and nutty and so damn good that you don’t need to pair it with any kind of spread. Reheating is optional–does taste better toasted though. Definitely worth noting. They also serve lunch and dinner, although I hear it can get to be a bit pricy.

If you want to try Kagaya out at some point:

日勝生加賀屋
Address: 台北市北投區光明路236號
or
No. 36, Guāngmíng Rd, Beitou District,  Taipei City, Taiwan 11246

Telephone: 886-2-2891-1111

For Angelina’s/Climontine:
克莉蒙汀麵包生活館
Address:台北市信義路四段149-1號
or
149-1, Xinyi Rd Sec 4, Taipei City

Telephone: 886-02-2706-7061

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