What kind of gourmet luxury ryokan is Hakone Ryouriyado Ryokan Kyuan?
The hot summer season was over and the weather was gradually getting cooler in mid-October, when I had a weekday off, so I decided to go to Hakone alone. Around noon, I bought a Japanese lunch box, a can of KIRIN beer, and whiskey with soda called Chūhai at Shinjuku Station, boarded Odakyu Romancecar, ate the lunch box, and gazed idly out the train window while drinking the beer and Chūhai, and in no time at all I arrived at Hakone-Yumoto Station. From there, I transferred to Hakone Tozan Railway and got off at Kowakidani Station, where I was picked up by a ryokan staff. It took about 10 minutes from the station. Since there are many hills around the ryokan, you may want to ask a staff member to pick you up. This gourmet ryokan nestled in the forest is located on a mountain slope, so the road leading to the ryokan was a steep, narrow path. After passing through the blue noren gate, I entered through an elegant lattice door and was greeted with smiles from the staff. After taking off my shoes, I entered a small lobby with tasteful furniture, a fireplace, and windows overlooking the mountains of Hakone.
The lobby is on the first floor, but since the ryokan is built on a hill, it overlooks the clear blue sky and the majestic Hakone mountains. I checked in while enjoying matcha green tea and straw rice cakes in the lobby. There are only 10 rooms in total, but all of them have private hot spring baths, and I did not see any other guests during my stay.
After a while, a staff member showed me to my room. The room I stayed in this time was a Japanese-Western room called Kuzuryu in the main building. The Japanese-Western room was renovated in 2017, so I loved the new furniture and decor, the cozy terrace and the amazing view.
Upon entering the room and proceeding down the tatami-matted hallway, I found myself in a living room with a sofa and a large terrace, with a bedroom on the right. As soon as I entered the room, my eyes were drawn to the clear blue sky overlooking the terrace and the mountains and forests of Hakone. The terrace also had a cozy sofa and a private hot spring bath. I wanted to get into the private hot spring bath right away, but since the hot spring water temperature was 50 degrees Celsius, I let the water cool down for a while. I could have used tap water to cool down the hot spring water, but that would have diluted the quality of the hot spring, so I waited. During this time, I sit on the terrace, sipping beer from the mini-bar, listening to the birds chirping, and read a book I had been wanting to read for some time. The forests and mountains were still too early for the autumn leaves to change color, but the temperature was a few degrees cooler than in Tokyo, so there was a cool breeze blowing. It was just the right climate for the private hot spring bath. I was so happy to be able to read in such a beautiful place only 2 hours from Tokyo. It made me forget my daily rush of life in an instant.
Then it was time for the hot spring water to reach the right temperature, so I decided to take a long soak. After five o’clock, the sun began to set, and the clear blue sky turned from light purple to purple as it gradually became darker. If I listened carefully, I could hear the hoots of owls and deer. After enjoying the private hot spring bath, it was time to get hungry. Since this was a gourmet ryokan, I was especially looking forward to the meal, and around 6:30PM I headed for the dining area and the staff showed me to a private room. It was a small Japanese-style room with tatami mats, but it was very relaxing. Dinner was kaiseki cuisine. The various high quality ingredients such as black abalone, tuna sashimi, boiled fugu (puffer fish), and sukiyaki with wagyu beef and matsutake mushrooms were all superbly prepared and tasty. This is indeed a gourmet ryokan.
After dinner, I returned to my room and again enjoyed the private hot spring bath on the terrace. Looking up at the night sky, I saw a starry sky that looked like it was strewn with jewels. Unlike Tokyo, the sky in Hakone was filled with countless stars shining brightly all over the night sky. It was so silent that I almost lost track of time. After a while, the staff prepared rice balls called onigiri for my midnight snack. After dinner, I thought I was too full to eat any more, but after a relaxing soak in the hot spring bath, I felt a little bit hungry. On the terrace, I enjoyed delicious rice balls. I wanted to enjoy the night sky a little more, but I was already sleepy by this time, so I went to bed.
In the morning, I woke up a little after 7:00 a.m. and made coffee from an espresso machine and relaxed for a while with a cup of coffee on the terrace. The fresh air and the aroma of the coffee relaxed me with the great nature in front of me. The area was already light and it was another sunny morning. The morning was a bit chilly, so I decided to warm myself in the private hot spring bath on the terrace before breakfast. The scent of hinoki cypress and hot spring water healed me. The blue sky and clouds were reflected on the surface of the hot spring water as it swayed in the gentle breeze. I could hear the beautiful chirping of various birds. The morning in Hakone was pleasantly brisk.
Then I had breakfast at 8:00. The staff showed me to a private room in the dining area with a wonderful view of the Hakone mountains. The private room was on the basement floor, but it was built on top of a cliff so I could see the view. As with dinner, the Japanese breakfast was excellent. I was especially impressed with the shark fin steamed egg custard called chawanmushi. I was very happy to be able to enjoy the splendid shark’s fin from the morning. Then, I checked out a little after 10:00 a.m. and had a staff member drive me to The Hakone Open-Air Museum.
If I were to venture to raise a drawback, it would be that there are very few public spaces. There is no communal hot spring bath, library, café, or garden to stroll through on the grounds, which I found a bit lonely. I spent most of my stay on the terrace of my room, so it was private, but I think some people may feel it is not enough. This is a small luxury ryokan with a total of 10 rooms. It is not suitable for those who prefer large luxury ryokans. It is for those who want to enjoy private hot spring baths and sophisticated kaiseki cuisine.
Then, this time I stayed alone in a room in the main building, but the rooms in the annex are ideal for groups or with children.
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Is the location easy to access?
If you are going from Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen bullet train to JR Odawara Station. Then, take Hakone Tozan Bus from the East Exit of Odawara Station, and get off at Kowakien Bus Stop. It takes around 40min. Alternatively, take Odakyu Romancecar from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station. Then transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway and get off at Kowakidani Station.
Free shuttle service is available from Kowakidani Station or Kowakien Bus Stop between 14:30 and 17:30. You need to call 0 when you ask to pick up.
If this is your first visit to Hakone, you may want to show the below Japanese sentence to a bus driver when you get on a bus. That way, in case you fall asleep, the driver will let you know when you arrive at the bus stop where you will get off.
Kindly let me know when you reach “Kowakien Bus Stop”.
If you are still unsure about the above access information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the space below.
Then, if you are taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to JR Odawara Station, you need to pay attention to your luggage. Please check here for details. When boarding the Shinkansen, luggage whose total of three sides exceeds 160 cm requires advance reservation of a seat with an oversized luggage space. Baby strollers, musical instruments, bicycles, surfboards, etc. are excluded. Items may be brought in as long as they are placed in a special bag and can stand up.
Passengers bringing oversized baggage without an advance reservation will be charged a carry-on fee of 1,000 JPY. In such cases, the baggage needs to be placed in an area designated by the crew. Also, large luggage is not allowed in unreserved seats on the Shinkansen. Then, children under 6 years old usually do not need a ticket, but if a preschooler uses the Shinkansen, a reserved seat ticket for preschoolers is required to be purchased.
On Odakyu Romancecars, the size of luggage is limited to a total of no more than 250 centimeters on three sides and no longer than 2 meters in length. The weight is limited to 30 kg, and up to two pieces may be carried on board as long as they do not interfere with the operation of the train or inconvenience other passengers. Exercise equipment such as ski boards, snowboards, bicycles, etc. may be brought in as long as they are placed in a special bag and can stand up. Strollers are folded and placed in front of the seats. Then normally, children under 6 years of age do not need a ticket, but when using a seat on an Odakyu Romancecar, a child’s express ticket and a ticket for children are required. However, if you hold a child on your lap, a limited express ticket and a boarding pass are not required. Please refer to the info.
Where is the best accommodation for anniversaries in Hakone?
If you are looking for a nice place for a special occasion, the property would be one of the best in Hakone. The staff arranges flowers and cakes to celebrate an anniversary at additional charges if you request in advance.
Rooms I would recommend?
If you are traveling alone or as a couple, I would recommend a Japanese-Western room called Kuzuryu in the main building where I stayed. If you are traveling with a group or family, I would recommend the special or VIP rooms in the annex. The interior and decorations are wonderful, with traditional crafts such as lacquering and latticework. If you stay in a room in the annex, all meals are served in your room. The annex also offers an upgraded meal menu from the main building.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, pajamas, bathrobes, bottled water, a coffee machine with capsules, cold mango tea in a minibar, and a Japanese tea set. There are skincare products in the bathroom. A DVD player, an iPod speaker, and an air cleaner were placed in my room. Room service is available from 15:00-23:30. The free WiFi reception was very weak in my room, but when I tried to connect to the internet in the lobby, there was no problem.
How about In-house Facilities?
There is no communal hot spring bath, but there is a private family hot spring bath. It costs JPY3,000 for 40min. It’s open from 15:00-22:00.
Then this is not a universal design. There is no lift and no wheelchair for borrowing. If you bring people with weak legs, you may want to find other ryokans.
TOP5 Best Accessible Hotels and Ryokans in Hakone
Then there is no convenience store nearby. You may want to buy your necessities before coming here.
Overall the property tends to be dark. It would be a bit hard to read books at night.
How about meals?
Dinner starts at 18:00 or 18:30. Breakfast starts at 8:00, 8:30, or 9:00. If you stay in rooms in the annex, all meals are served in your room. If you stay in rooms in the main building, all meals are served in private rooms in a dining area.
If you have any food allergies, please write them in the comment box when you book a room with meals. They probably wouldn’t be able to prepare alternative food if you request on that day.
Then, as far as I know, there is no restaurant near the property. You may want to book a room including meals.
Finally, it is advisable to check the weather forecast before making a reservation. Weather permitting, you will have a great view of the wonderful Hakone mountains and forests.
Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about the property from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on agoda
Info about Hakone Ryouriyado Ryokan Kyuan
|Samll Luxury Ryokan
|Check-in and out times
|80,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
|Free wifi in the lobby
|Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
|Hakone Ryouriyado Ryokan Kyuan’s MAP
|Refer to the above
|Address and TEL
|Hakone Ryouriyado Ryokan Kyuan’s HP
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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