This is a review of our stay at Ginka.

In early July, my husband and I visited Kinosaki Onsen with our two small children. We decided to stay at Nishimuraya Hotel Shogetsu on the first day, Nishimuraya Honkan on the second day, and this ryokan on the third day. To get straight to the point, compared to the hotel we stayed at on the first day and the ryokan we stayed at on the second day, this ryokan is not a luxury ryokan, but it offers very good value for money. Also, the food, hot springs, hospitality and service of the staff were impeccable.

We had lunch in Kinosaki Onsen Town, enjoyed a footbath at Satono yu, and boarded a free shuttle bus with a white body that left Kinosaki Onsen Station around 3:00 pm. The name of the ryokan was written on the bus. The ryokan is a small ryokan with only 18 guest rooms on a vast site of 2,000 square meters. As we got off the shuttle bus in front of the tiled-roof gate, we were greeted by the ryokan staff. We entered the spacious grounds, walked around for a while, and were guided to the lobby. It was a sunny day and the bright blue sky and lush green lawn were dazzling. After completing check-in procedures at the lobby, we chose colored yukatas from the selection next to the lobby. There was such a wide variety of colored yukata available that it was hard to decide which one to choose. This time, we booked a room on the second floor. There was no elevator, so we took the stairs.

This ryokan is not a luxury ryokan, so it is somewhat disappointing that there is no Japanese architecture, Japanese garden, or sophisticated interior design worth mentioning here.

Pulling back the lattice door, we entered a Japanese-style room with tatami mats, and next to the Japanese-style room was a bedroom with twin beds on tatami mats. On the tatami-matted porch called engawa, there were chairs and a table, and a large window overlooking the slow-flowing Maruyama River and the graceful curves of the mountains. Next to the porch was a bathroom with a wonderful hinoki bath. The bathroom, with its fragrance of hinoki cypress bath, also overlooked the same Maruyama River and mountains as the view from the porch. Boiling water is used. Unfortunately, it is not a hot spring.

For a while, we had coffee ground and made from coffee beans provided in the room, and sat on the edge of the room and watched the river flow slowly and peacefully. After that, we changed into yukatas  and decided to go to the communal onsen baths located near the lobby. We especially liked the outdoor onsen baths. It was designed as if the boundary between Maruyama River and the outdoor onsen baths were connected, so when we soaked in the bathtubs, we had the magical illusion that we were in the river. There are also two private family onsen baths next to the communal baths that can be used completely privately. Reservations are not required and can be used whenever available.

Then near the entrance to the bathhouse, there were gelato, Yakult, snacks, and a large glass fridge with four kinds of sake, two kinds of local beer, two kinds of shochu highballs, orange juice, apple juice, oolong tea, tea, and more. Gelato was available in vanilla, green tea, gateau chocolate, mugwort, strawberry, mango, yuzu, and caramel flavors. All the drinks except for Yakult were charged, but the prices were reasonable.

When we returned to our room from the communal onsen baths, it was just dusk, and the mountains and the river were tinted with the setting sun, creating a beautiful view. We took out beer from the mini-bar and sat on the engawa of the room for a while, watching a family of ducks swimming happily in the water. By the way, beer, oolong tea, bottled water, etc. prepared in the room’s minibar were available free of charge.

It was time to get hungry. We headed upstairs to the dining area. When we arrived at the dining area, the staff showed us to a private dining room. We were served a creative Japanese meal using fresh local ingredients. We were particularly impressed with the very fresh assortment of sashimi, Tajima beef grilled on charcoal stones, wagyu nigiri-sushi, and grilled abalone with butter. We were able to choose how to cook the main dish of abalone. You can choose from sashimi, salt-baked, butter-baked, tempura, and shabu-shabu.

After dinner, a shuttle bus was provided to the center of Kinosaki Onsen, and we wanted to take a walk in our yukatas, but the children were tired and sleepy, so we decided to relax in the room. After returning to the room, I opened my computer in the Japanese-style room and used the Internet, but the internet speed was very slow. According to the staff, when the internet connection is busy, it becomes slow. Also, they can not extend the fiber-optic line to the ryokan, and that it is difficult to improve the situation.

Then, after sitting on the chairs on the porch for a while, drinking sake and relaxing, we became a little hungry and decided to order Kitsune udon noodles, which were offered free of charge for the midnight snack. I pressed extension number 9 and asked the staff to bring it to our room about 10 minutes later. This service is available from 21:00-22:00.

The next morning, we woke up a little after 7:00 a.m. and decided to enjoy the hinoki cypress bath in the room with the kids. Lemons were available in the bathroom, so when we floated them in the tub, we could smell the faint scent of lemon. Yuzu baths are a winter tradition, but the lemon bath in the summer season was quite nice. While soaking in the hinoki bath, the view of the clear blue sky without a cloud in the sky and the mountains and river spread out below was wonderful.

After this we headed upstairs to the dining area for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. We had breakfast in the same private dining room where we had dinner. Breakfast was Japanese, and the main dish, fish, was grilled over charcoal right in front of us, which made it even more delicious. I was also impressed with the homemade thick tofu and crab miso. Like the dinner, the breakfast was also a large portion of food.

Overall, the ryokan was not luxurious, but the staff was friendly, efficient, and attentive. Also, like Arima Onsen, Kinosaki Onsen is a bit more expensive to stay in, but compared to other ryokans, this ryokan was in the reasonable price range. Then while the ryokan may not be suitable for romantic couples, it is ideal for families with children or groups. Also, the ryokan is a 10-minute drive from Kinosaki Onsen Station, so it may be troublesome to go out to the hot spring town after checking in.

Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda

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Is the location easy to access?

Please take a direct express train or highway bus from Osaka Station or Kyoto Station to Kinosaki Onsen Station. The travel time is 2.5 hours for express train and 3.5 hours for highway bus.

The ryokan’s free shuttle service is available from Kinosaki Onsen Station. You need to book it in advance.

If you wish to leave your luggage at the Kinosaki Onsen Tourist Center in front of the station, tell staff the name of the ryokan you are staying at and your name, and leave your luggage there for JPY200 per piece. The ryokan staff will carry your luggage for you.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

There are all the amenities, including enough toiletries, a green tea set, yukatas, samue outfits, a complimentary mini-bar including beer, and a coffee grinder with coffee beans. L’Occitane bath amenities were provided. Then a wide variety of colorful yukatas are available free of charge. There is no room service. There is no convenience store nearby. You may want to buy what you need before you come.

How about In-house Facilities?

This ryokan is not a universal design and there is no lift. There are a few steps in the building. If you bring people with weak legs, you might want to request a room on 1F. A wheelchair is available for borrowing.

Then this is child-friendly. Staff can offer some items for small children, such as yukatas, samue outfits and amenities, etc. if you request in advance. From April 2023, children under elementary school age can stay only in Japanese-style rooms on the 2nd floor.

Then there are wonderful large communal onsen baths on 1F near the lobby. All of them are open from 14:00-10:00 the following morning. Also, there are two private family onsen baths for free which you can use whenever they are not occupied. They are open from 6:00-10:30, 15:00-24:00.

Then if you go on a hot spring hopping in the center of Kinosaki Onsen, staff can send you at 20:00, 20:30, or 21:00 by free shuttle bus. That’s a great service.  

Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda

Info about Ginka

Style Onsen Ryokan
Check-in and out times
Estimated Price 50,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact Tel 0796-28-3515 from domestic
Tel +81 796-28-3515 from overseas
Internet Connection Free wifi at the lobby only
Facility Information Wheelchairs are almost available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
Location Ginka’s MAP
Access Free shuttle bus from Kinosaki Onsen Station
Address and TEL 1177 Oshima, Toyooka-shi, Hyōgo 669-6123
Tel +81 796-28-3515
Official Homepage Ginka’s HP  *Japanese only

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