Daimaru Besso

Daimaru Besso

What kind of traditional onsen ryokan is Daimaru Besso?

In late March, when the cherry blossoms began to bloom, I decided to go on a business trip to Fukuoka and spend the weekend enjoying the hot springs at this ryokan in Fukuoka City. I finished work a little after 5:00 pm on Friday, took the JR rapid train from Hakata Station, and arrived at Futsukaichi Station in about 15 minutes. The ryokan where I stayed this time was about a 5-minute cab ride from here. It was a 15-minute walk, but I had a lot of luggage, so I took a cab.

To get straight to the point, since I stopped by on a business trip, my stay was a bit hectic, but I was able to fully enjoy the history and tradition of this luxury ryokan. Entering through the entrance, I felt as if I was visiting a grand house from the Showa period. I would like to visit again in a different season as it is easily accessible from Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport.

The entrance to the ryokan was located along the highway and in front of the entrance was a parking lot. Upon entering through the entranceway of the magnificent sukiya-style building, I was greeted by the staff with smiles. After completing check-in procedures at the reception counter on the left, the staff escorted me to my room.

This ryokan had Heian-tei, Taisho-tei, and Showa-tei wings, as well as the villa-type Rengyoan, all of which faced a serene Japanese garden. Solo travelers are often shown to smaller rooms, but at this ryokan, all rooms can stay by oneself. In addition, the rooms in the Heian-tei building and the villa-type rooms each have a private onsen. *Unfortunately, it seems that the rooms in the Heian-tei wing and the villa were no longer be supplied with hot spring water starting around September 2022. Please be aware of this if you are thinking of staying at the ryokan.

This time I booked a room with a wonderful private onsen in the Heian-tei wing. Upon opening the door and entering the room, I found myself in a long hallway. After taking off my shoes at the entrance, I proceeded to the end of the hallway, where I found a small veranda called engawa on the right side, with a classically designed table and 4 chairs in front of a window with shoji doors, and two spacious Japanese-style rooms to the right of the engawa. The rooms were too large for one person, but they were wonderfully comfortable Japanese-style rooms.

I sat on a chair on the engawa for a while and quenched my thirst with a can of beer from the mini-bar. Incidentally, there is a fee to use the mini-bar, but the prices were reasonable: beer for JPY220, ume shochu high for JPY165, coca cola for JPY110, water for JPY110, and Pocari Sweat for JPY110.

Then I decided to enjoy the private hot spring in the bathroom of my room before dinner. When I entered the bathroom, I could smell the scent of hinoki cypress and sulfur. Then, there was a hinoki bath set up on the window side, and the walls and ceiling were also made of hinoki. The window had a circular hollowed out wooden frame behind a glass lattice door, creating an artistic ambience. Turning on the faucet installed in the cypress bathtub, hot spring water was always available. The source temperature is 48°C, so I had to wait until the water cooled down or add water. I was so happy to be able to soak in the warm hot spring water with the windows open and feel the cool air.

The sound of the trees swaying in the occasional gentle breeze was pleasant to hear. It was such a luxurious experience to be able to soak in the private onsen, read on my smart phone for a while, listen to music, and monopolize the wonderful spring water. 

After enjoying the private onsen, I changed into my yukata and had another beer on the engawa, when the staff came to my room and began preparing dinner. This ryokan is a well-known gourmet ryokan, so I was looking forward to the meal. Normally, meals are served in a private room in the dining area, but since it was during the coronavirus pandemic this time, I had in my room. For dinner, I booked a Wagyu beef sukiyaki course in advance. The meat used for the sukiyaki was top-quality Wagyu beef with a perfect harmony of richness and flavor. The quantity of the sukiyaki course was generous. Kaiseki course is also available, but you can also choose beef shabu shabu, pork shabu shabu, one-pot dish, or chicken hotpot if you tell them when you book your room. By the way, dinner start time could be selected from 18:00, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30, or 20:00.

After dinner, I had a spa treatment appointment, so I walked through a corridor of stunning pure Japanese architecture to the spa store adjacent to the communal hot spring baths on the first floor. Upon entering the store, I found it was interior decorated in a Balinese style. I took the Ayurveda oil treatment body massage course, which cost JPY11,550 for 80 minutes. An appointment is required.

After enjoying the spa, I felt pleasantly sluggish, so I quickly returned to my room. When I returned to my room, a futon was laid out for me. Before going to bed, I enjoyed the private onsen again and went to bed before 10:00 pm.

The next morning, I awoke around 6:00 am. and decided to take a walk in the Japanese garden on the grounds. Since this ryokan is located in the city center, there are apartment blocks adjacent to it. So the view from the Japanese garden is a bit disappointing as you can see the adjacent apartment blocks, but it was a refreshing early morning walk in the Japanese garden and I was able to relax my mind.

After strolling through the Japanese garden, I returned to my room and the staff prepared breakfast for me. The basic menu is Japanese food, but you can also choose Western food if you ask in advance. I chose the Western breakfast. Omelette, sausage, pumpkin soup, vegetable smoothie, croissant and bread, orange jelly, etc., but the quantity was small. Breakfast can start at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, or 8:30. I had breakfast at 7:00.

After breakfast, I decided to have a Mont Blanc cake and complimentary coffee at the lobby lounge on the second floor by the reception desk. There was also cheesecake, chocolate cake, ice cream, etc., all reasonably priced at JPY250. The coffee cups and cake plates used were nice china. Moreover, the stately interior, furniture, and decorations of this lobby lounge gave it a sense of tradition, history, and class for more than 100 years.

I then returned to my room, packed, checked out before 9:00 am, and took a cab from the ryokan to Fukuoka Airport. I then took an 11:00 am flight to Haneda Airport to return to Tokyo. I really wanted to enjoy the communal onsens and the private onsen until 11:00 am, the check-out time, so that was my only regret.

The only drawback I can think of is that the Wi-Fi signal was unstable in the room I stayed in. It was a shame, because the Japanese-style rooms were wonderfully cozy. When I visit Fukuoka again on business, I would like to enjoy the onsens here before returning to Tokyo, as it is conveniently located.

Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda

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Is the location easy to access?

Take the JR rapid train from Hakata Station, get off at Futsukaichi Station. The ryokan is about a 15-minute walk from Futsukaichi station. Alternatively, take a cab from Futsukaichi Station. The cab fare is JPY900. However, there may be no cabs in front of the station at night. If you take a cab, try to arrive before evening.

If you take a highway bus from Fukuoka Airport, get off at Chikushino bus stop. The trip takes 25 minutes. From there, it is a 5-minute walk to the ryokan. However, it would not be recommended to take a bus, as buses are infrequent.

If you take a cab from Fukuoka Airport, it will take 35 minutes and cost about JPY5,000.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including minimum toiletries, yukatas, Japanese sweets, and green tea bags, etc.

Complimentary coffee is available at the lobby lounge between 7:00 and 22:00.

There is no vending machine for drinks. Also, there is no convenience store nearby. You may want to buy your necessities before coming here.

Then, this is child-friendly. The staff provides meals, tableware, and yukatas for children at an additional charge if you request in advance.

How about In-house Facilities?

There are very large historical communal indoor hot springs. All of them are open from 5:00-10:00, 11:00-25:30. If you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the communal bathing areas.

Then this ryokan is not completely universal design, but I did see a guest in a wheelchair during my stay. If you are bringing someone with weak legs, please inform the staff in advance. There are elevators available. Also, wheelchairs are available for borrowing.
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Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about Daimaru Besso from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda

Info about Daimaru Besso

Style Traditional Onsen Ryokan
Check-in and out times
Estimated Price 30,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact  info@daimarubesso.com
Internet Connection Free WiFi in the ryokan
Facility Information Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
Location Daimaru Besso’s MAP
Access refer to the above
Address and TEL 1-20-1 Yumachi, Chikushino, Fukuoka 818-0058
Tel +81 92-924-3939
Official Homepage Daimaru Besso’s HP

*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.

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