This is a review of our stay at Okuno Hosomichi.
In November, when the autumn leaves were beautiful, my husband and I decided to stay at this ryokan during our visit to Arima Onsen. To get straight to the point, it is not a luxury ryokan with a sophisticated ambience, but the breakfast and dinner were quite impressive. As a ryokan famous for its cuisine, we had high expectations, but the value we received exceeded our expectations. In particular, we thought the chefs’ spirit and performance were excellent. On top of that, we were touched by the hospitality of the staff.
We took the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo Station around 10:00 a.m., arrived at Shin-Osaka Station around noon, had lunch around Osaka Station, and then took the JR Express Bus from Osaka Station JR Express Bus Terminal, arriving at Arima Onsen by 3:00 p.m.
The ryokan where we stayed this time was about 15 minutes away from the Arima Onsen bus stop, up a gentle slope, listening to the murmuring of the river. Since the ryokan is located at the furthest point of Arima Onsen, it is best to request a free shuttle service. It is especially difficult on rainy days or if you have a lot of luggage. We regretted that we should have asked for a shuttle bus while walking from the bus stop. The ryokan is located a little far from the center of Arima Onsen.
Upon entering the property through the entrance to the ryokan, we were greeted by the staff. We were guided to the lobby, where we went through check-in procedures. The lobby terrace was decorated with many Arima-yaki picture plates. In one corner of the lobby, there were free coffee, tea, tea, chocolate, and wafers. Souvenirs were sold next to it. In addition, a gold folding screen depicting the era of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi was displayed in the back of the lobby. Overall, the exterior of the building and the furniture in the lobby were like those of a country ryokan, with no sophisticated interior or ornaments, and I regret that I have nothing to write about them here.
After check-in, the staff showed us to our room. This time, the room was on the fourth floor with a private hot spring bath. This ryokan has 17 rooms and consists of a main building and an annex. Each room in the main building has its own private onsen. The rooms in the annex do not have private onsen.
We opened the door from the room entrance, took off our shoes here, went inside, and to the left was a room with twin beds on tatami mats and a couch on the window side. To the right was the bathroom, and on the balcony was a small table and chairs. From the balcony, one could see Mt. Rokko with its autumn leaves, the ropeway, and the parking lot. The view from the balcony was a bit disappointing, as it was nothing special. Then, to the right of the balcony was a wonderful private onsen. It was a small bathtub made of ceramic, but it smelled faintly of hot spring water.
Each room in the main building has a private onsen on its balcony, but there are two types of onsen quality, gold spring called Kinsen and private source. If you have come all the way to Arima Onsen and would like a room with a private Kinsen onsen, you may want to make a reservation as soon as possible. The rooms with private Kinsen onsens are especially popular.
Then, although the lobby and exterior of the building are not sophisticated, the rooms in the main building seem to have been recently renovated, with new facilities and Japanese-style yet modern interior and furnishings, making them comfortable and easy to use.
We then changed into our yukatas and decided to try a large onsen bathhouse. It is not a spacious bathhouse, but as the ryokan has only 17 rooms, it is not likely to be crowded. There are some indoor and outdoor onsens. The outdoor onsen baths of the gold spring turns brownish brown when exposed to air. It is highly effective in moisturizing the skin and making it smooth, but it is very stimulating, so it is best not to stay in the baths too long. Also, free oolong tea, sports drinks, cold water, hot water, popsicles, etc. were available near the entrance of the large baths.
Returning from the communal baths, we took out the beers prepared in the mini-bar, sat down on the chairs on the balcony, and watched the evening sky for a while. We noticed that we could hear the sound of bell crickets chirping from somewhere. By the way, beer, oolong tea, apple juice, and Oronamin C in the minibar were available free of charge.
Then, it was time to get hungry. Dinner was served at 5:30 p.m., so we headed to the dining area on the second floor of the main building. This ryokan is famous as a gourmet ryokan, so we were really looking forward to it. Dinner was served at 17:30, 18:00, 18:30, or 19:00. When we arrived at the dining area, the staff showed us to a private dining room. The menu prepared on the table was interestingly illustrated with watercolor paintings. We were very satisfied with the meal, which started with an aperitif of natsume sake, followed by 12 different appetizers, hamo and matsutake mushroom soup, a gorgeous assortment of sashimi including lobster, sea urchin, and abalone, sukiyaki of Japanese black beef, nigiri-sushis of scallops, shrimp, and sea bream, crab chawan-mushi, crab porridge, and finally milk sherbet. Particularly memorable was the sea of clouds sukiyaki, which was made with cotton candy covered with gold dust to represent a sea of clouds. The milk sorbet, which the chef made on the spot, was made by pouring something like liquid nitrogen over a cream-like liquid and mixing it for a while. The sorbet was served with colorful oiris scattered on top of the sorbet. Oiris are balls of sweets about 1 cm in diameter, a kind of rice crackers made from glutinous rice. It was light and slightly sweet, as if you could blow on it and it would fly away. Even now, I get excited when I recall the dinner. All of the dishes were very elaborate. Then we were also impressed by the performance of the chef coming to our private dining room and cooking right in front of us. It was truly a magnificent dinner that showcased the skill and technique of the chef. Probably the best food in Arima Onsen.
The next morning, we woke up around 6:30 a.m. We brewed coffee using the coffee machine in the room and sat on the balcony to enjoy the chirping of wild birds and the clear air of Arima Onsen as we sipped our coffee.
We then headed upstairs to the dining area around 7:00 for breakfast. You can choose your breakfast time from 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, or 8:30. The staff showed us to the same private dining room as for dinner. On the day we stayed, breakfast was only Japanese, no Western food. If you want western food, please request it when you book your room. Starting with 9 appetizers, we had komatsuna and banana smoothie, salmon marinated in miso, dashimaki tamago (rolled egg), chicken hot pot, tofu, simmered sea bream, rice cooked in a pot, miso soup with crab, and finally sweet muskmelon for dessert. The chef came to our private dining room and cooked the dashimaki tamago right in front of us. His handiwork and dexterity in making the dashimaki tamago was truly impressive. The freshly made dashimaki tamago was fluffy and the rich egg flavor instantly spread in our mouths.
After breakfast, we returned to our room and fully enjoyed the private onsen in our room until we checked out. After checking out, we took the ropeway from the ropeway station near the ryokan to the top of Mt. Rokko. We would like to visit again in a different season and enjoy the first-class Japanese cuisine.
Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda
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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 ryokan and request a free shuttle service. 10 minutes later, a shuttle bus will arrive. The ryokan is located slightly away from the center of Arima Onsen.
Rooms I would recommend?
We would recommend a room in the main building. This is because each room has its own private onsen.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, a humidifier, a Nespresso machine with capsules, welcome sweets, a green tea set, and bottled water, etc. Also, there are some colorful yukatas in the lobby you can choose from. Room service is not available. There is a vending machine for drinks. There is a 7-Eleven convenience store near Arimagawa water park.
How about In-house Facilities?
There are indoor and outdoor communal hot spring baths. They are open from 6:00-10:00, 15:00-24:00. Also, there is a private family hot spring bath. It costs JPY3,000 for 50min. It’s open from 15:00-24:00. If you stay in the annex, you can use it for free.
Those with tattoos may not be able to use the communal onsens.
Then this ryokan is almost universal design. There is a lift. A wheelchair is available for borrowing. If you bring people with weak legs, you may want to inform the staff in advance as they can arrange a room near the lift.
Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda
Info about Okuno Hosomichi
|Check-in and out times
|60,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
|Free wifi in the ryokan
| Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
|Okuno Hosomichi’s MAP
|Free shuttle service from Arima Onsen Station
|Address and TEL
|Okuno Hosomichi’s HP
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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