What kind of boutique onsen ryokan is Maruei near Mt.Fuji?

My grandmother, who is in a wheelchair, wanted to visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum for its beautiful fall foliage, so we decided to stay at Maruei on the shore of nearby Lake Kawaguchi. This onsen ryokan has a wonderful accessible room and is one of my grandmother’s favorite ryokans. Also, the staff is wonderful. We have stayed here several times and have always had excellent hospitality at all times. The ryokan itself is not as large or new as some of the other onsen ryokans we have stayed at, but it’s very calm and clean. Every corner is well cleaned. Moreover, the cost performance is better than other ryokans around Lake Kawaguchiko.

After visiting the art museum, we drove to the onsen ryokan. The trip took about 10 minutes. Once we parked our car in the parking lot, the staff carried our luggage into the building. They then led us to the spacious lobby. When I entered, I found a magnificent flower arrangement. After checking in at the front desk, we were served matcha green tea and hot spring buns in the lounge next to the front desk. The lobby is a typical Japanese onsen ryokan, not luxurious but comfortable. From the lobby windows, one could see the mountains in their autumn foliage and peaceful Lake Kawaguchi. Also impressive was the traditional box garden paved with lava rocks from Mt. Next to the stone box garden was a traditional sukiya-style tea room.

After relaxing for a while with green powder tea in the lobby, they guided us to our room. This time we booked a universal room with a private outdoor bath. The outdoor bath is not a hot spring, but it is boiled water drawn from natural water from Mt. Fuji, so it is soft to the touch. As we entered through the room entrance, there was a wheelchair-accessible restroom on the right, and further on was a Japanese-style room with a large window overlooking Lake Kawaguchi. Next to the Japanese-style room was a bedroom with twin beds. There is an open-air bath on the window side of the bed room. The room is not large enough for a family of five, but it is adequate for few days. There is a ramp from the entrance of the room, which made it easy for my grandmother in a wheelchair to move around. During our stay, the weather was clear and sunny, with a blue autumn sky, clear air, and a view of the peaceful mountains with red and yellow leaves in some places.

We quickly changed into our yukatas and headed for the communal outdoor hot spring baths on the top floor. The view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi while soaking in the hot spring baths were picturesque. In particular, the communal outdoor hot spirng baths during the daytime offered wonderful views of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi. There is also a private family outdoor hot spring bath with a view of Mt.Fuji. It costs JPY1,650 for 30 minutes.

Afterwards, there was still time before dinner, so we decided to take a walk along the lakeside walking trail that runs from the front of the ryokan. In the rich nature, wide blue sky, clear air, and fresh breeze, I saw red dragonflies flying pleasantly. This is the autumn season that cannot be experienced in the big city.

Returning from our stroll, we were beginning to get hungry. Dinner at this ryokan is kaiseki cuisine, which has a good reputation among the locals. The dishes were not spectacular in appearance, but each one was tasty and made good use of fall seasonal ingredients. The portions are generous. We ordered the higher-grade course. This course has a higher level of assorted sashimi and beef steak than the standard course. The dining area is either in your room or private dining room for dinner. We had a grandmother in a wheelchair, so we had a private room with a table and chairs. Breakfast was Japanese food in a large dinning room. If you stay in a special room called Nonohana-tei, dinner and breakfast are in your room or a private dining room. The meal menu is also different from other rooms.

Then, after dinner, we went back to the communal outdoor hot spring bath. From the outdoor bath, the star-filled sky was beautiful, and the lights of the mountain huts shining faintly on the opposite shore of Kawaguchi Lake gave us a sense of nostalgia.

The next morning, we woke up early and went to the rooftop observatory. From the observation deck,” equipped with a free telescope, we were able to see the amazingly huge Mt. Fuji. The day was also blessed with clear skies early in the morning, and we enjoyed the powerful 360-degree view to our heart’s content.

If I were to raise a drawback, it would be that although this ryokan is located on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi, most of the rooms face Lake Kawaguchi, so you will not be able to see Mt. Fuji from your rooms. However, if the weather is nice, you can enjoy a wonderful view of Mt. Fuji from the rooftop observatory, as well as from the communal outdoor hot spring bath and the private family hot spring bath.

Also, this ryokan is more for families and groups. It may not be suitable for romantic couples or solo travelers. Then again, there are no rooms with private hot spring baths. As mentioned above, the outdoor baths attached to the rooms use spring water from Mt. Fuji.

*If you are reserving a family private outdoor bath, you may want to check in early. It is first-come, first-served. If you want to make a booking, it is best to do so during the day when the weather is nice and you can see Mt. Fuji.

Check Availability and Pricing for the property on agoda

  TOP5 Best Hotels and Ryokans for Families near Mt.Fuji
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Is the location easy to access?

You can take an express bus from Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, JR Bus Tokyo Station Expressway Bus Terminal, or Shibuya Mark City, then get off at Kawaguchiko Station. It takes about 2 hours. *Tokyo Station is so huge that even as a Japanese I often get lost. Make sure you have plenty of time to get around.

Alternativily, from Haneda Airport, there is also a Keihin Kyuko Bus service to Kawaguchiko Station. The journey time is approximately 150 minutes. *As of July 2022, this route is out of service due to the cronavirus pandemic.

There is a way to get there by train, but since there are transfers, express buses are easier to travel by.

Free Shuttle service is available between 14:00 and 19:00. You don’t need to book it in advance, just call 0555-72-1371 when you reach Kawaguchiko station. The shuttle bus will be here in about 10 minutes. Time cannot be specified. Perhaps the rotary in front of the station is so crowded that there is no place to park.

Rooms I would recommend?

As noted above, this onsen ryokan has few rooms with views of Mt. Fuji. However, from the rooftop observatory, the communal outdoor hot spring bath, and the private family bath, you can fully enjoy the dynamic view of Mt. Fuji on a fine day.

Then if you do not like sleeping on a Japanese-style mattress in a tatami room, you may want to book a room with twin beds.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

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

Then this is child-friendly. Staff provides meals, yukatas, and futons at additional charges if you request in advance. Also, they can warm baby food up if you bring it.

Then there is no convenience store nearby. You might want to buy your necessities before coming here. The Free Wi-Fi reception was a bit slow after dinner in my experience.

How about In-house Facilities?

There are wonderful communal outdoor and indoor hot spring baths. They are open from 5:00-10:00, 14:00-24:30.  Also, there is a private family hot spring bath. You need to book in advance if you want to use it.

*If you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the communal bathing areas.

Then Maruei is almost universal design. There are 2 accesible rooms. Also, wheelchairs are available for borrowing. If you bring people with weak legs, you might want to inform the staff in advance as they can arrange a room near the lift.

How about meals?

The kaiseki food for dinner was great. After dinner, some rice balls for a night snack were served in our room. Dinner starts between 17:30 and 19:00. If you have dinner at the property, you need to check in by 19:00. Breakfast starts between 7:30 and 8:30. *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.

Then, as far as I know, there is no nice restaurant around here. Local papa-mama shops are closing early. You may want to book a room with meals unless you have a car.

My impressions

Again, we had a grandmother in a wheelchair and the staff assisted us in many ways. We were very impressed with their attentive service, from the hospitality upon our arrival to seeing us off on our way home.

Finally, Itchiku Kubota Art Museum allows visitors with disabilities and their caregivers to enter through a separate entrance. The fee is JPY1,300, but the disabled and their caregivers pay half price. The wheelchair you came in will not allow you to enter the art museum, so you will be asked to transfer to a wheelchair specially designed for the art museum. The grounds are hilly and quite tiring for caregivers, but the autumn foliage was spectacular. The art museum is closed on many days during the coronavirus pandemic, so it is advisable to check in advance.

Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about Maruei from the below space.

If you check-in after 17:00, you need to contact the staff in advance.

Check Availability and Pricing for the property on agoda

Info about Maruei

Style Onsen Ryokan
Guest Rating 14:00/11:00
Estimated Price 40,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Internet Connection Free WiFi reception was slow
Facility Information Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
Location Maruei’s MAP
Access Free Shuttle Bus from Kawaguchiko Station
Address and TEL 498 Kodachi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0302  Tel +81 555-72-1371
Official Homepage Maruei’s HP  *Japanese Only

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

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