What kind of onsen ryokan is Tsuganoki?

If you are looking for small onsen ryokans with private baths in Kinugawa Onsen, you should stay here.  There are 17 rooms only.  Each room has a private bath.  This is not hot spring, though.  You can relax in the bath while viewing a peaceful forest.  The ambiance would be serene, tranquil, and cozy.  When we stayed here in 2018, most of the guests were couples and families with small children.  If you bring small children, I would also recommend it.  This is child-friendly.  Staff provides cribs, meals, and futons, etc. if you request in advance.  On the other hand, if you are looking for luxury small onsen ryokans with private hot springs, this is not.  I would rather recommend staying at Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel.  Tsuganoki would be great for families with children, couples, or small groups, but not solo travelers.  The building is an outdated exterior, but the inside is renovated.

Is the location easy to access?

Yes, access to Kinugawa Onsen would be very easy from Tokyo.  It takes around 120min from Asakusa Station by train.  The property is located a 10min walk from Kinugawa Onsen Station.  A free shuttle service is available from the station.  You need to book it in advance.

Rooms I would recommend?

If you are going to stay here, I would recommend rooms called Aoi, Ai, Araragi, Yuzu, or Sumire.  It seems that those rooms have big private bathtubs if compared to others.  You won’t be able to request in advance which room you want to stay, so try to request your preference when you check-in at the reception on that day.  Facilities tend to be outdated but well-maintained, clean, and neat.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including minimum toiletries, yukatas, a Japanese tea set, and sweets, etc.  Complimentary coffee and Wi-Fi reception were available in the lobby only.  Room service is not available.  There is no convenience store nearby.  You may want to buy your necessities around Kinugawa station before coming here.

How about In-house Facilities?

Tsuganoki is not a universal design but there are few steps.  A wheelchair is available for borrowing.  If you bring people with weak feet, you may want to inform the staff in advance as they can arrange a room near the lift.  Then there are small outdoor and indoor communal hot springs.  The water temperature is just nice.  They are open from 15:00-24:00, 5:00-9:00.  Also, you can use communal hot springs for free in the sister inn, Hotel Sunshine Kinugawa.  It takes just 3min on foot from Tsuganoki Ryokan.  *If you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the communal bathing area.

How about meals?

The local food experience for dinner and breakfast was wonderful.  Don’t forget to bring your empty stomach.  You won’t resist even you are full.  The portion tends to be big.  All meals are served in the dining area.  There is no private room for meals.  Also, meals for kids are available if you request.  After dinner, some rice balls for a night snack were served in our room.  That’s a great service.  *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.   *You need to check in by 18:00 if you have dinner on the property.   Alternatively, you can go out for meals.  There are some local restaurants around the property.  Most of the local papa-mama shops are closing early.  You may want to ask the staff about recommended restaurants.

My impressions

The staff tends to be not so sophisticated, but helpful and kind.  A landlady is a sociable person.  If you cannot find English speakers at the reception, you might want to write on paper what you want to say.  Most of the young staff would understand English sentences.  I hope you don’t mind.  Considering everything, the ryokan has good value for money.  If you want to get much of an immersive “private outdoor bath” experience, you should stay here.  Then, the best season to stay here would be in fall.  You can hang out around here while viewing beautiful autumn leaves.  Have a nice trip!  Welcome to receive any questions about Tsuganoki from the below space.   You need to inform the staff of your expected arrival time in advance.   Check Availability and Pricing for the onsen ryokan on Booking.com or Agoda

Info about Tsuganoki

Style Small Onsen Ryokan
Check-in and out
Estimated Price 39,100 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact Call at +81 288-77-0002 overseas
Call at 0288-77-0002 domestic Japan
Reception Time 8:00-18:00 *JST
Internet Connection Free wifi around the lobby only
Facility Information Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
Location Tsuganoki’s MAP
Access a 10min walk from Kinugawa-Onsen Station
Free shuttle bus from the station
Address and TEL  〒321-2522 Tochigi-ken, Nikkō-shi, Kinugawaonsen
Ōhara1438-1  Tel +81 288-77-0002
Official Homepage Tsuganoki’s HP  *Japanese only

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