Hakone Tokinoshizuku

Hakone Tokinoshizuku

What kind of ryokan is Hakone Tokinoshizuku?

On a hot day in mid September, we happened to have a day off and decided to go to Hakone, which would be a little cooler than Tokyo. We took Odakyu Romancecar from Shinjuku Station, got off at Hakone-Yumoto Station, transferred to Hakone Tozan Railway, and got off at Kowakidani Station. From there, we walked down a path through the forest, through a brick tunnel under a Hakone Tozan Railway track, and up a slope to see the parking lot and Musashino Bekkan, a sister ryokan. It is a 15-minute walk. The building on the left is “Hakone Tokinoshizuku” where we will stay tonight. The exterior of the building was a bit dated, as it used to be a recreation center somewhere, but inside it was a nice luxury ryokan. After passing through the red curtain at the gate, we found a long stairs. Water was running on both sides of the stairs, and the sound of the water created a cool ambience. Surrounded by mountains and forests, the sound of cicadas was echoing. After climbing the stairs, there was an automatic door that looked like a lattice door. Once inside, there was no lobby or front desk, and the staff immediately showed us to our room. This is a small luxury gourmet ryokan with only eight rooms.

A small elevator took us up to the 6th floor, where we were shown to our room called sanceree. We took off our shoes here and went up. On the left was a closet and a cupboard containing a tea set and mini-bar, and on the right was a bathroom and toilet. Then, down the hallway, we found a long, stylish black leather sofa with futons spread out on tatami mats. The room was smaller than I had imagined, but just the right size for two people. We opened the shoji and glass doors to a large balcony and were greeted with a spectacular view. It was the perfect location from which to view the lush green mountains of Hakone. White incoming clouds, blue sky, and dynamic curves of the mountains went on forever. Then at the far right side of the balcony was a private hot spring bath. 

After checking in in our room, we decided to sit on the comfortable sofa for a while, sipping Welcome champagne with homemade potato chips, and enjoying the spectacular view that lay before us. From time to time, we could hear the sound of Hakone Tozan Railway running slowly. The cypress bathtub on the balcony was constantly filled with hot spring water. The sound of the flowing hot spring water, the chirping of birds, and the wind made us feel very relaxed. Summer in Hakone is very sunny, but the air was refreshing and completely different from the heat of Tokyo.

We then changed into our yukatas and decided to go to the communal hot spring baths in the sister building next door. There is no communal hot spring baths here, but the communal baths in Musashino Bekkan can be used free of charge at any time. Upon entering the sister ryokan, we found the lobby decorated with stunning flower arrangements. We took off our slippers at the entrance and walked through a tatami-matted corridor to the communal hot spring baths, looking out over a garden planted with bamboo trees. At this point, the staff provided us with bath towels. Although the indoor communal baths were somewhat old, the spacious baths were pleasant. In addition, the outdoor hot spring bath made of barrels was filled with a trickle of hot spring water. While soaking in the outdoor bath, I heard the evening cicadas chirping from somewhere. When the evening cicadas begin their cries, the summer season is about to end.

We returned to our room, sat down on the sofa, and this time decided to have beer from the mini-bar. It was dusk and gradually, outside, the sky turned orange and I could hear the chirping of bell bugs. The autumn season is almost here. It was as if our busy daily life was a lie, and the quiet time passed by.

Then, we started to get hungry, and before 6:00pm, the staff came to our room and prepared dinner for us. There is a dining room on the fourth floor, but perhaps because it was during the coronavirus pandemic, all meals were served in the room. This is a famous gourmet ryokan in Hakone, so we were very excited. All the dishes had a sophisticated taste. I was especially impressed with the Ashigara beef gruyere with wine sauce and truffles on top, and rice cooked with abalone. Ashigara beef had a unique flavor and was tender and delicious. A variety of alcoholic beverages were also available. Refer to the info. The attentive service of the staff was very pleasant, and we enjoyed our meal slowly for two hours until we finished eating.

After dinner, I enjoyed the private outdoor hot spring bath on the balcony. It was a full moon that day. As I soaked in the private bath, the mountains of Hakone floated like a shadow picture in the pitch-dark darkness, and the moon shone quietly in the sky. The moon, visible and hidden through a fence designed to look like a wooden lattice door set up next to the private bath, created a quaint expression. Listening carefully, I could hear the cries of deer in the distance. The hot spring temperature was set at 42 degrees, so even though it was an outdoor hot spring bath, it was too hot to take a long bath, so I asked staff to lower the temperature by about 2 degrees.

The next morning, I was awakened by the sound of Hakone Tozan train running slowly past 6:00 a.m. It was not that loud, but I must have noticed it because the surroundings were too quiet. When I went out on the balcony, it was already light, a cool breeze was blowing, and a variety of birds were singing in the vast forest in front of me. I decided to enjoy my coffee here for a while, taking in the fresh air. Then I relaxed in the private hot spring bath again before breakfast. The blue sky and the mountains of Hakone could be seen through the wooden latticed door-like fence. The blue sky and clouds were reflected on the surface of the hot spring water, which glistened in the sun. As I gazed at the scene in a daze, the coziness lulled me to sleep. Then suddenly, I noticed a dragonfly with beautiful wings flying. When I see dragonflies, I can’t help but feel a hint of autumn.

We then decided to take a walk around the ryokan before breakfast. The area is home to the walk Charles Chaplin took when he stayed at the nearby Fujiya Hotel, as well as many structures built over 100 years ago. Surrounded by the greenery of Hakone, the path was perfect for a morning stroll. The staff is knowledgeable about the area, so ask them.

After our walk, it was time to get hungry, and before 9:00 a.m. the staff came to our room to prepare breakfast. We were so happy to be able to enjoy a delicious breakfast while looking out of the large window at the spectacular view of Hakone. The breakfast is only western style. Starting with fresh juice, hot spring eggs with consommé, cold corn soup, homemade yogurt, classic hot sandwiches, fruit compote, and salad with homemade dressing, etc. The portions were small. After breakfast, we went again to the communal hot spring baths in the sister building next door and checked out before 12:00PM.

If I were to raise a disadvantage, it tends to be difficult to make bookings on weekends, as it is a popular and exclusive ryokan. This is especially true in the spring and fall seasons. All rooms are suites, and there are only 8 rooms, so it’s not an option. The grounds are very private and you will not see any other guests. Also, the spectacular view of Hakone from the large windows on a fine day is always wonderful, no matter how many times you see it. Therefore, if the weather is bad, you may be a bit disappointed because you will not be able to see the view. Then, this gourmet luxury ryokan can accommodate guests 6 years of age and older. Small children are not allowed to stay.

Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda

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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. From there, transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway or Odakyu Romancecar to Hakone-Yumoto Station. Then transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway and get off at Miyanoshita Station. *All Hakone Tozan Railways departing from Odawara Station terminate at Hakone-Yumoto Station. Hakone Tozan Railways bound for Gora require a transfer at Hakone-Yumoto Station.

Alternatively, take Odakyu Romancecar from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station. From there, transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway and get off at Miyanoshita Station.

A free shuttle service is available from Miyanoshita Station. Staff will pick you up at the station. You need to book it in advance. We wanted to take a walk around the neighboring station, Kowakidani Station, so we got off at Kowakudani Station and walked to the property.

JFYI, it is a 10-minute cab ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station to the property. Cab fare is about JPY2,500.

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.

*Due to the effects of Typhoon 19, the Hakone Tozan Line between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora Station is under a long-term suspension.  During this period of suspension, bus transfers and Rail Replacement bus services will be operating between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations.  It will be restored in late July 2020.  Refer to the infoThe Hakone Tozan Line has restarted since the 23rd of July, 2020.

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. The staff arranges cakes to celebrate an anniversary at an additional charge if you request in advance.
  TOP5 Best Romantic Hotels and Ryokans in Hakone

Rooms I would recommend?

When booking a room, you may want to request a room with a view of the Hakone mountains and valley. The facilities tend to be a bit run down, but the stylish Italian furniture is comfortable. Then there is a private hot spring with a cypress bath in each room. The quality of the 100% pure hot spring water is one of the best in Hakone.  The staff will even adjust the hot spring water temperature if you ask.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, bathrobes, yukatas, samue outfits, tea bags, a coffee machine and a green tea set. Also, there are Mikimoto bath amenities and skincare produtcts in the bathroom. There was a DVD player, binoculars, humidifier, wine cellar, and towel warmer. The minibar contained beer and juice for a fee. Then, mobile hotspots are available for borrowing. Room service is available between 8:00 and 22:00. There is a convenience store within 10 min walk distance. 

How about In-house Facilities?

This is not a universal design, but 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.
  TOP5 Best Accessible Hotels and Ryokans in Hakone

Then there is no communal hot spring bath in this property, but you can use communal hot spring baths in the sister ryokan, Musashino Bekkan. *Please note that If you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the communal bathing area.

There is a spa treatment shop, a small library, and a bar. The bar was closed for the coronavirus pandemic when we stayed here.

How about meals?

The food was fantastic, sophisticated, and exquisite. The cork stopper for the wine we ordered for dinner was made into a key chain as a souvenir.

*Please note that inform the staff when you book a room with meals if you have any food allergies. They probably wouldn’t be able to prepare alternative food if you requested that day.

Then, as far as I know, there is no nice restaurant near the property. You may want to book a room including meals.

My impressions

If you expect the service, food, and amenities of a 5-star hotel, this is the place to be. Next time, I would like to see snowy scenery from here.

Have a nice trip!  Welcome to receive any questions about Hakone Tokinoshizuku from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda

Info about Hakone Tokinoshizuku

Style Small Luxury Ryokan
Check-in and out times
Estimated Price 100,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact E-mail
Internet Connection Free WiFi if you get a portable hotspot
Facility Information Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
Location Hakone Tokinoshizuku’s MAP
Access Free pick-up service from Miyanoshita Station
Address and TEL 〒250-0404 Kanagawa Ashigarashimo, Hakone machi Miyanoshita 416  Tel +81 460-82-4341
Official Homepage Hakone Tokinoshizuku’s HP

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

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