What kind of onsen ryokan is Iki Retreat Kairi Murakami by Onko Chishin?
In early December, after the fall foliage season had ended and the weather was getting colder by the day, my husband and I took our two small children to Iki island. Although the island is located in Nagasaki Prefecture, it is only about 60 minutes from Hakata Port in Hakata City.
To get straight to the point, our stay was very impressed by the spectacular view from the ryokan. The food, onsen, service, and facilities are excellent, and it is truly a five-star luxury ryokan. We hope to visit again when we visit Fukuoka.
We took a taxi from Fukuoka Airport and moved to Hakata Port, which is about 20 minutes away. It takes about 10 minutes by taxi from Hakata Station. From Hakata Port, we boarded a Jetfoil boat and arrived at the Island in about an hour. When we got off the Jetfoil, the ryokan staff was waiting for us at the port. We requested a free shuttle service in advance. We boarded the pick-up car and arrived at the luxury ryokan where we stayed this time in about 20 minutes.
As we entered through the fine wooden automatic doors, we were greeted by a stunning view of the blue ocean and sky, which we were mesmerized for a while as soon as we entered the lobby. It was like an entrance to an extraordinary world. Even the children rolled their eyes wide and just stared at the magnificent view, not wanting to leave in front of the large windows. Especially in the winter when we visited, the air was dry, so I think it created a wonderful view that cannot be expressed in words. We were very lucky to have sunny weather on this day.
The staff showed us to a white modern sofa in the lobby. We were then served shimon tea made with fragrant and slightly sweet potatoes, and kasumaki, a typical Iki Island confectionary. It was a traditional sweet made of sponge cake dough with red bean paste rolled in it. After a while, a staff member showed us to a premium Japanese-style room on 2F where we would be staying this time. There were 12 rooms in total, all with private outdoor hot spring baths.
We opened the door to our room and entered. At the entrance, we took off our shoes and changed into slippers. To the left was the bathroom, and down the hallway was the living room, a modern Japanese-style room with Ryukyu tatami mats. The bathroom did not have an indoor bath, but there was a shower booth. To the right of the Japanese-style room was a bedroom with twin beds. This bedroom also had an attached bathroom. Probably, these two rooms were originally separate, but were made into a connection room during the renovation. Then, outside the large window was a balcony with a private outdoor onsen and a daybed sofa. What bothered us a little was the low height of the balcony fence. We understand that the structure is designed to enjoy the view while soaking in the private onsen, but since we were staying with small children, we were concerned. Also, the the blue bathtub in the private outdoor onsen on the balcony was smaller than we expected.
Then there was the beautiful blue ocean and sky that we could see from the balcony, which soothed our souls with a sense of calm. Sitting on the daybed sofa on the balcony, we took out a bottle of local beer from the mini-bar and sipped it, never getting tired of watching the ever-changing clouds and the sun glinting off the surface of the sea. The children had orange juice made from local mandarin oranges and ate delicious chocolate chip cookies prepared on the table. By the way, the minibar is free of charge. Local beer, orange juice, shiso juice, tomato juice, oolong tea, cider, etc. were available.
After staying on the balcony for a while, our bodies were getting cold, so we changed into samue outfits and decided to go to communal hot spring baths. The hot springs of Iki Island have been around for 1,700 years, and the salty and iron-rich brown water was very nice. The communal bathhouse had indoor baths and outdoor baths. The views from the outdoor baths were especially spectacular. It was as if I had become one with nature. The communal baths hours: 14:00-24:00 / 6:00-11:00
After enjoying the communal baths, we decided to relax in the lounge adjacent to the lobby. The lounge had complimentary champagne, coffee, tea, orange juice, and baked cakes available. Champagne is only available from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. We sat on sofas by the window, my husband and I sipping champagne and the kids sipping orange juice, and enjoyed the spectacular view of the sunset from here. The sun setting over the backdrop of Mt. Fuji is an unforgettable sight, but the sunset over Iki Island was also dynamic. The sun setting on the horizon and the sunset-tinted sky reflected on the surface of the sea were so beautiful that we forgot to blink.
Then I noticed that it was just before 6:00 p.m., so we went to a dining area next to the lobby. This ryokan was well known as an auberge ryokan, so we were really looking forward to the meals. We were shown to a private dining room. There were other tables and counter seats available, but since we were with children, it was probably the private room. We would have preferred to sit at the counter overlooking the ocean, but we had no choice.
For dinner, we had a choice of kaiseki or teppanyaki course. We chose the kaiseki course, which featured an abundance of premium ingredients. The seafood was surprisingly fresh, and we were impressed by the aroma, rich taste, and chewy. The abalone shabushabu, charcoal-grilled abalone, and abalone porridge were especially delicious. The sukiyaki of Iki wagyu beef was also tender and juicy. We also had meals prepared for the children. They especially enjoyed the omelette rice and crab cream croquettes.
After dinner, we returned to our room and the kids were so tired they fell asleep immediately. We ordered Iki Shochu from room service and sat in the Japanese-style living room to drink it. Iki is the birthplace of barley shochu, which has been made in the traditional way for over 400 years. We really wanted to sit on the daybed sofa on the balcony and watched the star-filled sky while drinking, but we couldn’t see it because it was covered with clouds, and a very cold sea breeze was blowing outside.
The next day, we woke up around 6:30 a.m. It was another chilly morning. I opened the curtains and stepped out onto the balcony to find the area still dimly lit and a calm and quiet time was passing by. We brewed a pot of coffee in the coffee machine and sat on the balcony enjoying the aroma of the coffee as we waited for dawn. Over the horizon, we could faintly make out the shadow of the island of Tsushima. The blue sea and sky bathed in the soft morning light were also impressive.
Before breakfast, I wanted to enjoy the private onsen on the balcony with my children, but it was cold outside, so we decided to warm ourselves in the communal baths and then return to our room to enjoy the private outdoor onsen. Unfortunately, the room we stayed in did not have an indoor bath. Probably, there are some rooms with indoor baths.
After the private onsen, we went to the dining area on the first floor for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. We were taken to the same private dining room where we had dinner. The morning started with a variety of elegant Japanese dishes made with premium ingredients. I was especially impressed with the freshly fried black abalone tempura.
After breakfast, we returned to our room and ordered complimentary salt ice cream from room service. The ice cream was delicious and made with salt, a specialty of Iki Island. We then sipped Simong tea, while enjoying the spectacular view from the balcony, before checking out and leaving the ryokan before 11:00 a.m.
If I were to raise a disadvantage, it would be that you cannot see the spectacular view from the ryokan if the weather is bad, as it should be. This is a wonderful luxury ryokan, but if you cannot see the spectacular view, you may be left with the impression that you are a little disappointed. Be sure to check the weather forecast before booking a room.
Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda
Is the location easy to access?
From Fukuoka Airport, take a cab to Hakata Port. The trip takes about 20 minutes and costs about JPY2,000. From Hakata Port, take a Jetfoil to Iki Island. The trip takes 65 minutes and costs JPY4,980 per adult. For more details, please click here. After getting off the Jetfoil, a free shuttle will take you to the ryokan in 20 minutes.
You can also take a ferry from Hakata Port, but we would recommend taking a jetfoil. For the ferry, the trip takes 130 minutes.
JFYI, the Jetfoil boarding point is Terminal 1. The ferry boarding point is Terminal 2. There are two terminals at the Port of Hakata, so please do not make a mistake.
Then, there are three ports on Iki Island, and staff will pick you up and drop you off at any of them. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
You can also rent a car. Car arrangements can be made in advance with the staff.
After you have booked a room, the staff will contact you by email and will respond to your request for transportation.
Where is the best accommodation for anniversaries in Kyushu?
If you are looking for a good place for a special occasion, the property would be one of the best. The staff arranges flowers and cakes to celebrate an anniversary at additional charges if you request in advance.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, pajamas, samue outfits, a coffee machine, green tea bags, a complimentary mini-bar, etc. There were POLA and L’OCCITANE bath amenities in the bathroom. A DVD player was placed in our room. Room service is available. Free WiFi reception was good.
Then there is no convenience store nearby. You may want to buy your necessities before coming to the island.
Also, this is child-friendly. Staff will prepare samue outfits, meals, and amenities if you request in advance.
How about In-house Facilities?
There are wonderful communal indoor and outdoor onsens with dynamic views. The spring quality is great. You may become a hot spring freak. They are open between 6:00 and 24:00.
If you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the communal bathing areas.
There is a private family onsen. It costs JPY5000 for 45min.
There is a gym for free between 6:00 and 24:00. You need to bring your sportswea. Sports shoes can be borrowed free of charge.
There is a lounge with free drinks and snacks, a spa treatment shop, and a souvenir shop.
Then the ryokan is not a universal design. Wheelchairs are available for borrowing. If you bring someone with weak legs, you may want to inform the staff in advance as they help you.
How about meals?
You can choose your preferred dinner start time for dinner from 18:00, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30 or 20:00.
Then you can choose from Japanese or western cuisine for breakfast. Breakfast starts between 7:00 and 9:00.
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 request on that day.
Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about the ryokan from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda
Info about Iki Retreat Kairi Murakami by Onko Chishin
|Luxury Resort Ryokan
|Check-in and out times
|100,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
|Free wifi in the property
|Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
|IKI Retreat KAIRI MURAKAMI’s MAP
|Refer to the above
|Address and TEL
|IKI Retreat KAIRI MURAKAMI’s HP
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
Still not sure where to stay in Kyushu?
Browse through my TOP5 Ranking Lists of all the best places to stay in Kyushu.
Alternatively, you could leave a message at the below space for advice.