Staying at a ryokan in Japan is always one of the top item in my bucket list. My wish has finally came true in 2015.
Choosing Hakone Ginyu is an easy choice as it is one the best ryokan with private onsen (hot spring) in the room around Tokyo area. Booking Hakone Ginyu is not an easy choice as it is almost came up $1000 CDN a night. However, it is very hard to pass up the opportunity when I have a chance to fulfill my bucket list with the best ryokan there is.
Everything about Hakone Ginyu was absolutely amazing with the right amount of style and pretentiousness (and it is not a bad thing… allow me to explain). The moment we walked into the lobby, they knew who we were. They first sat us at the sitting room overlooking the mountain when they setup the paper work. Then they moved us to the lounge for a welcome drink so we could relax and admire the calmness in the ryokan. We felt valued and treated as VIPs. Next, they walked us to our room and led us to our private paradise.
Our suite has a dining room, living room / traditional japanese style bedroom, a gigantic bathroom, an indoor hot tub, an outdoor private onsen and a patio. This is what a grand can buy us for a night.
The main attraction was the private outdoor onsen. The cold February air and hot, bubbling spring water were a match made in heaven. We soaked in the hot spring for 15 minutes at time and laid down on the patio sofa for 20 minutes while sipping ice cold beverages. We repeated this routine many times in the afternoon, at night and next morning.
Traditional Japanese dinner (in the form of Kaiseki) and breakfast were served in room. All the dishes were simple and light, yet full of favour. Definitely one of the best Kaiseki meals we have ever tasted. However, the great food was only the extra bonus. The moment we finished our meal, we couldn’t wait to jump back into the hot spring.