An Onsen Ryokan in Hakone

An Onsen Ryokan in Hakone, Hakone, Japan (B)

Japan has a long history of onsen (hot spring) bathing. The best way to immerse yourself in the bathing culture is to visit an onsen ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn with hot spring baths on the premises. Many of these ryokan also serve kaiseki, Japanese multi-course haute cuisine, which is eaten in your own private dining room. Bathe, eat, sleep and repeat - it doesn't get much better than that. 

To celebrate our collective birthdays, David and I ventured south to Hakone, an onsen resort town near Mt. Fuji, reachable in 90 minutes by train from Tokyo. Our home for the weekend was Kinnotake, a 10-room luxury ryokan that puts a contemporary spin on the traditional Japanese inn. To make foreign guests more comfortable, Kinnotake has Western beds and an onsite bar that features a full wine cellar. But this ryokan's design, food and service are not like anything you'll find outside of Japan.

When I booked our reservation at Kinnotake, I was asked what time we planned to arrive for check-in. Without much thought I selected the earliest check-in time - 3 p.m. - assuming that they only needed a window. I realized my error when we arrived at the property around 3:45 p.m. to find a Kinnotake employee waiting for us out on the street. Despite the fact that he had obviously been standing there for quite some time, he energetically greeted us by name and ushered us inside. Entering through the front door of Kinnotake felt like walking into another world. The floor of the dimly lit, bamboo-lined entranceway was glistening with water as if it had just rained inside; the air was marked by the faint scent of coconut incense burning. I was giddy with anticipation to see our room. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: An Onsen Ryokan in Hakone
Guide Location: Japan » Hakone
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Kate Bitner
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Kinnotake
  • Hakone Tozan Railway
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum
  • Hakone-Jinja Shrine