This is a review of our stay at Arimasansoh Goshobessho.
In late November, when the autumn leaves were beautiful, we decided to stay at Okuno Hosomichi on the first day and stay at this hotel like a luxury villa on the second day. To get straight to the point, this was truly a small luxury hotel surrounded by beautiful nature.
We checked out of Okuno Hosomichi before 11:00 a.m. and then enjoyed sightseeing around Yumotozaka, narrow alleyways in Arima Onsen lined with cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, before arriving at our hotel around 3:00 p.m.
This luxury villa style hotel has a long history, having been built as a resort exclusively for expatriates more than 100 years ago, when Western culture first entered Japan. The building, a perfect fusion of Japanese wooden architecture and Western culture, was surrounded by a nostalgic ambience and refined atmosphere. The building, interior, furniture, and decorations were all created by one of Japan’s leading artists, Hirosuke Watanuki. We were very impressed by his creative design that was not bound by existing frameworks. If you want to stay in a wonderful and memorable luxury ryokan or luxury hotel in Arima Onsen, it will be either this hotel or Nakanobo Zuien.
About 10 minutes up a gentle slope from the center of Arima Onsen, the building where we would be staying tonight came into view. This hotel was located at the top of the hill. It was a very quiet place, a little outside the bustling downtown area of Arima Onsen. Once we passed through the stately black gate, we found ourselves in a world of silence, far removed from the bustle of the hot spring resort area.
The hotel was spacious, with only 10 rooms, on a large 1400 tsubo (about 1,400 m2) site along the river, and there was a beautiful garden on the grounds with red and yellow foliage. All the rooms were villa-type suites, so it was as if we were relaxing in a luxury vacation home. On top of that, each room has its own private onsen with a golden spring.
As we entered the property, the staff immediately directed us to the lobby building. At the entrance of the lobby building, we noticed a huge wooden signboard with the words “有馬山叢 御所別墅” painted in a unique font. Upon entering the traditional wooden building with a tiled roof, we found that it was more spacious than we had imagined, with high ceilings and tasteful, serene, and luxurious furniture, interior furnishings, and paintings. In addition, the stand lights that illuminate the tables and corners with gentle light were designed by the famous iron artist Shoji Takahashi. The spacious lobby, with its single-sloped roof beams, felt very comfortable. We were impressed by the exotic setting.
As we sat on the sofas and completed check-in formalities, the staff prepared homemade cookies and hojicha tea for us. The cookies were unique, with premium Tajima beef meat woven into the dough and chocolate and cinnamon inside. After a short while, the staff escorted us to our room. Passing through a corridor lined with private dining rooms, we came to a terrace, and the red and yellow forest in front of us looked even more beautiful in the sunlight.
Then, walking along the cobblestone pavement, where red and yellow leaves had fallen to the ground and formed a carpet, we first saw one-story villas. The entrance doors had stained glass embedded in them. Further on, we saw several two-story maisonette-type villas a short distance away from the lobby building. On the way there, we used a moving sidewalk to get around. Press the green button and the walkway moves. Elderly people and small children can easily move around the property.
This time, we booked a maisonette-type room along the river. This is because the maisonette type rooms are on two floors, a bit difficult to use, but they have hinoki bathtubs in the bathrooms and nice wooden terraces facing the riverside.
On the other hand, the one-story type villas built around a pond are easy to use because there are no stairs, but the bathrooms have the white bathtubs often found in hotels, not the hinoki bathtubs. All bathrooms have private hot spring baths, but the skin feels more comfortable if the bathtub is made of hinoki cypress. Also, the one-story type villas have terraces, but they are very small.
The maisonette-type room had an entrance on the second floor, and once inside after removing our shoes, we found a living room. The spacious living room had a Japanese-style room with tatami mats, sofas and a table in front of the Japanese-style room, and a writing desk by the window. On top of the writing desk, a printer and a PC connected to a LAN cable were ready for use. Looking up, one could see that, like the lobby building, there was a high ceiling, creating a spacious area. Then, descending the spiral staircase near the entrance, we found ourselves in a bedroom on the first floor. The bedroom window opened onto a wooden terrace with chairs and a table. There was a river flowing in front of the terrace, and it was wonderful to spend time here listening to the sound of the river flowing and birds chirping. There was also a bathroom at the back of the room on the first floor. There was a private onsen with a cypress bath and a thermal room. The thermal room is a thermal relaxation room where the temperature is kept at 36 degrees Celsius, the same as body temperature, and is said to boost the immune system. When I entered the bathroom, I could smell the scent of hinoki cypress.
After this, we changed into yukatas and decided to go to communal hot spring baths located in front of the private wing of the restaurant. The Nanten trees and maple trees were turning red, orange, and yellow, and just walking around the garden was a very relaxing experience. We did not see any other guests in the communal baths, as each room has its own private onsen. Arima Onsen has two types of hot springs: a brownish-brown gold spring containing iron and salt, and a clear, colorless silver spring, and this hotel had a wonderful gold spring indoor bathhouse. There is no silver spring. A reddish-brown noren curtain hung at the entrance of the communal baths. The communal baths did not have an outdoor bath, but it did have a skylight, and the light shining through the ceiling into the dimly lit space was very mystical. At the entrance to the communal baths, there was cold milk and cafe lattes available free of charge. Incidentally, you can also use semi-mixed communal onsen baths of Tocen Goshoboh, located about a 10-minute walk away, for free.
After enjoying the communal baths, we visited the restaurant in the lobby building. We were shown to a counter where we could look out of a large horizontal window at the beautiful autumn leaves lit up by the lights. We were impressed by the spectacular view, which looked like a huge painting. In addition to counter seats, there are also the several private dining rooms.
Dinner was a fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine. The standard course we had this time consisted of nine dishes. The most memorable dish was the crab cream croquette, which was a mousse of cream cheese, potato paste, and Matsuba crab meat, topped with crispy fried bread crumbs. When I spooned it into my mouth, the flavor of crab filled my mouth. It was surprisingly different from what I imagined a crab cream croquette to be. The loin steak was also made from Tajimaguro, a rare beef, which melted in the mouth with a light and refreshing flavor. The perfectly grilled steak, served on a beautiful rosé-colored plate, was delicious, with the red wine sauce, wasabi and salt enhancing the umami of the beef. A variety of wines and sake were also available, and we enjoyed a comparison of Burgundy wines while enjoying the meal.
The next morning, we woke up around 7:00 a.m., made coffee in the coffee machine in our room, sat down on the chairs on the wood terrace, sipped coffee, listened to the murmuring of the river, and watched the beautiful morning sunlight filter through the trees into the forest. It was very special to enjoy the coffee while listening to the birds singing in the forest and enjoying the gentle autumn breeze.
We then headed to the restaurant in the lobby building for breakfast. We sat at the same counter seats where we had taken dinner, enjoying the magnificent view of the morning forest through the large horizontal windows. Breakfast was a set menu of Western-style dishes only, with no Japanese dishes. Starting with milk and fresh-squeezed orange juice, there was a main dish, a pot-au-feu with Tajima Gen suji meat and vegetables, salad, homemade bread kneaded with dried figs and Tanba chestnuts, fruit, and much more. The main course was a dish of scrambled eggs, coarsely ground Kobe pork sausage, and rice risotto grilled hamburger-style and served with tomato sauce. The French toast, a specialty on the menu, was also delicious. The French toast, which was marinated in egg mixture the day before and baked, was slightly sweet and had a melt-in-your-mouth, moist texture.
After breakfast, we thoroughly enjoyed the private onsen and thermal room on the ground floor of our room, checked out before 12:00 noon, and were dropped off by the staff at the JR express bus stop near Arima Onsen Station. Forgetting about our hectic days, we took a walk in the beautiful garden and enjoyed the hot springs whenever we wanted and as much as we wanted, making our trip a healing experience for both body and soul. Next time, we would like to stay during the season of fresh greenery.
Check Availability and Pricing for the property on Agoda
Is the location easy to access?
There are two ways to get to Arima Onsen from Osaka: highway bus and train. The highway bus is the easiest, as there are no transfers, and it is very convenient.
Two highway bus companies, JR Bus and Hankyu Bus, operate buses from Osaka to Arima Onsen. The journey time from Osaka to Arima Onsen takes about 50 minutes, and the fare for both buses is 1,400 yen one way. The bus stops are located at Osaka Station JR Express Bus Terminal for JR Bus and at Hankyu Highway Bus Osaka-Umeda Terminal for Hankyu Bus.
This time we took a JR Express Bus. To get to the JR Express Bus stop, go out the central ticket gate of JR Osaka Station and go straight to the left, and you will see the JR Express Bus entrance. The bus stop for Arima Onsen is No.7.
JR Express Bus tickets need to be purchased in advance. The JR Express Bus Ticket Center is located on the left side of the entrance to the JR Express Bus Terminal. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased in advance from the website.
JR Express Bus Stop at Arima Onsen is near Taiko Bridge. It is near Arima Onsen Station. Then, when you arrive at Arima Onsen Station, call the hotel and request a free shuttle service. 10 minutes later, a shuttle bus will arrive. The hotel is located slightly away from the center of Arima Onsen.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, bathrobes, pajamas, yukatas, a coffee machine with capsules, English tea bags, and a Japanese tea set, etc. You can travel light. Also, a PC, a DVD player, a CD player, and a humidifier were placed in our room. The free WiFi reception was good. Room service is not available. There is a convenience store within 15min walking distance.
Then, this is child-friendly. The staff provides a variety of amenities for children, including samue outfits, pajamas, down jackets, umbrellas, rain boots, shoes, toothbrushes, and food, etc.
How about In-house Facilities?
There are communal indoor hot spring onsens. The spring quality is amazing. They are open from 6:00 to 24:00. Also, you can use communal hot springs in the sister inn, Tocen Goshoboh. It takes 10min on foot.
If you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the public bathing area.
Then if you are staying with someone in a wheelchair, please book the villa No. 5, which is wheelchair accessible. If you bring someone with weak legs, you may want to inform the staff in advance as they can arrange a room near the lobby building.
Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about the property from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the property on Agoda
Info about Arimasansoh Goshobessho
|Style||Onsen Resort Villa|
|Check-in and out times
|Estimated Price||80,000 JPY for 2 adults per room|
|Contact||Fill the form in|
|Internet Connection||Free wifi|
|Facility Information||Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
|Location||Arimasansoh Goshobessho’s MAP|
|Access||Free Pick-Up from Arimaonsen Station|
|Address and TEL||〒651-1401 958 Arima-Cho, Kita-Ku Kobe-shi
Tel +81 78-904-0554
|Official Homepage||Arimasansoh Goshobessho’s HP|
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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