One of the most difficult to reserve inns in Japan is “Hakone Ginyu”. It’s in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture.
This time, I would like to introduce what Hakone Ginyu is like, and why it is so popular that it is said to be “the most unbookable inn in Japan”.
Hakone Ginyu is Recommended for people who…
- want to stay at a hot spring inn that is the most popular in Japan
- want to enjoy an open-air hot spring bath privately
- want to enjoy Japanese style course dinner in their guest room
- want to receive the best hospitality
Access from Tokyo to Hakone
The limited express train “Romancecar” is convenient for getting to Hakone from Shinjuku Station. It takes about 1 and half hours from Shinjuku to Hakone Yumoto Station. In the Romancecar, there are observatory seats with a good view at the front and back, snacks, lunch boxes and goods being sold, which will enhance your travel mood.
From Hakone Yumoto Station to Hakone Ginyu, you can take a bus or Hakone Tozan Railway to Miyanoshita Station.
It’s a quiet entrance, but you can enjoy a magnificent view from here.
[Scenery] Superb view overlooking the mountains of Hakone
All guest rooms of Hakone Ginyu face the Hakone mountain range. Although it faces the mountain, the view is very open and you can overlook the Hakone mountain range.
Whether it’s the greenery of the mountains in spring and summer, the season of autumn leaves, or the snowy landscape of winter, you will be relaxed by the beauty of the mountains no matter what season you visit.
It is not uncommon for a ryokan (Japanese style inn) to have a guest room with a hot spring open-air bath, but it is rare for the guest room open-air bath to not be surrounded by walls or fences, so you can enjoy a spacious view. The feeling of openness is wonderful, and Hakone Ginyu is in a special location where you can feel this kind of openness.
Japanese style guest room with a flowing hot spring, open-air bath
The guest rooms are divided into a bedroom, a dining room, and an open-air bath, making them spacious.
There is a 100% pure flowing hot spring bath on the balcony. The design varies from room to room, but there is also one in which the hot spring water is poured into the bathtub from the mouth of a fish.
You can enjoy the beautiful mountain view of Hakone while taking a bath.
Most of the rooms are Japanese style, but some have western style beds.
There is a welcome snack in the room, and you can also have coffee and/or tea in the room.
Hakone Ginyu has a very large, sunken dining table because dinner is served in the guest room, not in a restaurant.
[Meal] Surprising appearance and taste
Next, when it comes to meals, I feel particular about the selection of dining ware. The tall dish presents the stew very well.
As for the other dishes, there is a special feeling that you can enjoy with your eyes, such as the beet soup with its bright pink color which surprises when you open the lid. The kaiseki cuisine (Japanese course dinner) uses seasonal ingredients including meat, vegetables, and fish which are used in a well-balanced manner, so you can enjoy a large number of items little by little. It is truly a treat!
You can choose between western and Japanese style breakfasts. I chose Japanese which includes grilled fish, stewed tofu, sashimi and other small dishes. Not shown, there is also dessert which include yogurt and fruit.
[Space] Quiet and special space
Hakone Ginyu has both a spa and two bars. The spa is in a separate building, and it also has its own dedicated hot spring. The view from the spa is beautiful, and there are some original lotions and aroma oils. Men can also use it, so it is possible for couples to receive massages together in a pair room. The first-class spa is best as a reward to yourself for working hard.
In addition, the bar is also a stylish space in the main building, where you can enjoy original cocktails while watching the trees lit up. It is recommended for adult couples because it is a very romantic space with candles lit.
Hakone Ginyu does not have a particularly flashy service. It is a special experience to relax your body and soul in a quiet space where you can feel the nature. In a the soothing hot springs you can see the Hakone mountain range openly, and have an elaborate treat with a specially selected wonderful dinner ware.
Once you’ve had that special experience, you will want to come back here again. I think that the number of repeated customers shows it is the best inn in Japan where reservations are difficult to make.
About reservation of Hakone Ginyu
It’s a very popular inn, so if they have a vacancy, you’ll be very fortunate.
You can check availability from Agoda.