Monthly Archives: January 2015

Amenities of Onsen Ryokan

When Japanese travel abroad, we are surprised about what is written on guide book, that is “we should bring toothbrush and sleepwear, as most hotels do not provide them.” This is very surprising for Japanese, as “Oh? Really?” This is because Japanese accommodations almost always provide toothbrush and sleepwear (yukata).

yukata
Yukata

Basic Amenities Provided at Onsen Ryokan

Well, let me introduce basic amenities provide in rooms of Japanese onsen ryokan.

・Electric kettle + tea set – You can enjoy tea (green tea) for free.
・Refrigerator – It is empty or filled with drinks (surcharge required).
・Towels – Most combination is face towel and bath towel.
・Toothbrush – It comes with toothpaste for one night.
・Yukata – Other than yukata, there could also be monk’s working clothes or pajamas.
・Body soap, hair shampoo – Sometimes equipped in a bath rather than in a room.
・Safe (strong box)

These are the basic amenities provided at general ryokan.

At Kashiwaya Ryokan, we also offer the following amenities.

Amenities provided at Kashiwaya Ryokan

・Wi-Fi – Although this is not a thing, it is so useful. ※It is for free.
・Hair dryer
・Drawstring pouch – A convenient fabric pouch, useful when you go to the bath.
・Hairbrush and comb
・Shaving set
・Cotton and cotton swab
・Hair rubber band and shower cap
・Tabi – A kind of socks. We provide it only during cold season.
・Skin care products – Provided at women bathrooms.
・Bathrobe – Provided at rooms with private bath.
・Soap, shampoo, and conditioner set of THANN, the Asian luxury cosmetics brand – Provided at rooms with private bath.

Bus amenities are one of the pleasures of accommodation, as you can select various things at each ryokan and some ryokan provide their original amenities. In fact, I imagine that many customers enjoy amenities at home that are possible to be taken-away. (Please ask at each ryokan whether amenities can be taken away.)

Use amenities and built-in fixtures at ryokan effectively to enjoy your comfortable trip!

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Difference between Ryokan and Hotel

Ryokan

There are more than 80,000 accommodation in Japan. The breakdown is about 10,000 hotels and less than 50,000 ryokan. The remaining are small inn with less than 4 rooms, minsyuku (small ryokan), capsule hotel, and so on. Then, what are the differences between hotel and ryokan?

According to the law, the definition of ryokan and hotel are as following:

“Ryokan is a facility, which mainly has Japanese structure and equipments.”

“Hotel is a facility, which mainly has Western structure and equipments.”

In other words, roughly speaking, ryokan is a facility with main of “sleeping on Futon in Japanese Tatami room type” and hotel is a facility with main of “sleeping on a bed in Western room type.” At many ryokan, you have to take off your shoes at an entrance and change to room shoes, such as slippers.

Most of them are applied to this definition. But sometimes, relatively large ryokan at onsen town calls itself as hotel and some ryokan provide rooms with beds, other than futon room, like our Kashiwaya ryokan.

A Japanese Room With A Bed

In this way, the difference of ryokan and hotel is becoming ambiguous little by little recently.

Customer Service Style

However, the biggest difference might be their customer service style.

In the case of hotels, most services are provided at an entrance and front desk. Meals are basically provided at restaurants. So staff do not enter guest rooms so often.

In contrast, at Japanese ryokan, especially ryokan of providing meals at guest rooms, staff visit guest rooms very often, thus customers have more chance to communicate with staff at their rooms.

Providing Meals

Let’s consider the situation by each scene of contacting with staff at ryokan.

First, when you arrive at a front (Choba) and fill in a guest book (Yadocho). Then staff guides you to your room. Some ryokan staff provides tea in your room.

Then dinner.

Staff (Nakai) visit your room and provide meals. They explain the names of dishes and so on, and you can enjoy a moment of conversation.

After that, staff make bedding Futon at some ryokan (including Kashiwaya ryokan). They make it amazingly so it must be fun to talk to them, looking at their work.

You can communicate with staff also at breakfast next morning. And payment, checkout, and send-off are following. Now you know there are many chances to contact with staff at various situations.

Origin

Another difference might be their “origin.”

The origin of Japanese ryokan is said that Nara monks mainly built accommodations in Nara period for free in order to protect travelers’ safety. After that, inns for worship journey were born, then Honjin, where Daimyo stays, along with roads and Hatago, where common people stay, increased dramatically in Edo period.

In addition, inns for Toji purpose began to be built at onsen town, then Toji culture has been formed until contemporary.

Shima onsen is said to be built during Genroku period. “Sekizenkan Main Building” is also left, that is designated as a cultural property, and you can remember the old days. (You can visit the building of Genroku era but cannot stay there.)

In contrast, Japanese hotels were accommodations for Western people from late Edo period to Meiji, when the entire Japan changed a lot from Sakoku (seclusion policy) to opening the country, because they were trying to obtain Western cultures aggressively. The origin of Japanese hotels is says to be “Yokohama Hotel” in Yokohama, Kanagawa, that opened in 1860. The so called classic hotels in Japan, such as Nikko Kanaya Hotel, Fujiya Hotel (Hakone), Manpei Hotel (Karuizawa), and Nara Hotel, have tradition of that flow.

During traveling in Japan, where do you stay?

Of course it is recommended to stay at a hotel style, which you are familiar with. But it is precious traveling in Japan. I recommend you to stay at ryokan to enjoy Omotenashi culture of Japan.

Please spend wonderful travel in Japan.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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A Relaxing Weekend Indulging in Private Onsen Baths

TSUKI-no-yu

We were able to take time off from work at a short notice, and we wanted to go to an onsen so we made a reservation a few days before we left. Our trip this time was mainly for bathing in onsens, and we wanted to take it easy so we chose Kashiwaya Ryokan which has a 12:00 pm checkout. It was also perfect that the ryokan is located three hours away from Tokyo by car.

You can bathe in the three private open air baths any number of times at no additional cost as long as they are unoccupied. If the baths were by reservation only, I wouldn’t be able to relax and bathe again at my own pace, so for someone who loves onsens like myself, I’d come back just for this system.

At first I thought I wouldn’t bathe in all three, but each one had its own atmosphere so I enjoyed bathing in all of them without losing interest. The large public bath was not an open air bath. However, it was thankfully open until late at night so I was able to bathe immediately when the private baths were occupied.

Our room was done in the Showa* modern yet retro style, and its relaxing atmosphere was great. Since it was a trip mainly for bathing in onsens, it was the best setup for me because I wanted to leisurely spend time in the room. Bathing, relaxing in the room, bathing again and monopolizing the three open air baths were incredibly satisfying. I especially liked the “Tsuki no Yu” bath that I bathed in it twice.

We ate dinner in our room. The timing of the serving of the meal was good, with the food still warm so we were able to dine leisurely. We ate after fully enjoying the onsens so I had no make-up on. It was truly a big plus that we were able to eat in our room without worrying about other people looking at us! Maybe it was the water, but the rice was very delicious. The meal had plenty of vegetables so it was healthy. It was enough for us, a couple in their thirties, but for families with growing children and those who like meat, the steak plan might be a better choice.

We felt the sentiments of a traveler because at night, we were able to sleep while hearing the quiet murmurings of the river.

We could choose between Japanese or Western-style meals for breakfast. We’re heard reviews that the bread is yummy so we chose the Western-style meal, but it was unfortunate that the bread has cooled a little, maybe because the timing of the serving was not good. (But the taste was good.) Nevertheless, the juices of the vegetables in the pot-au-feu delivered, and it was very delicious.

Moreover, we had a very pleasant stay because of the staff’s thorough customer service and their smiling faces. We got the impression that employee training was properly conducted because even the younger staff members were qualified and reliable. Compared to a hotel, the employees of a ryokan have more opportunities for attending to guests so one’s overall impression of a trip changes depending on one’s impression of the staff. Regarding this point, we are really glad that we chose Kashiwaya Ryokan.

Once we have have time off from work again, we will check the vacancy at Kashiwaya Ryokan right away.

*Translator’s note: The Showa Period lasted from 1926 to 1989.

Time:September 2014
Gender:Woman
Age:32 years old
Situation:Family travel

Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
We really thank you for staying in a room with an in-room open air bath here at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan for your family trip.

We sincerely thank you for choosing us, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan for your onsen trip with your husband.

You stayed with us in September when the days and nights are cooler, and we are glad that you enjoyed the murmurings of the river and the invigorating autumn breeze.

Our three private open air baths do not need reservations so our guests are very happy with this system of bathing in them any number of times with ease.

We recommend both the mountain ranges by day and the starry skies at night.

Thank you for your heartwarming, complimentary words regarding our meals and our staff’s customer service. We will use your words as encouragement, and we will continue to improve.

Regarding the bread that you have kindly pointed out, the bread that we serve for the day’s breakfast is baked all at the same time before the meal so we were not able to serve your bread piping-hot. We will think of ways in which we could improve on this, but we ask for your understanding at our present situation.

We, the whole staff, sincerely look forward to your next stay with us.

Thank you.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Onsen Ryokan that Fits its Showa*, Retro Town Well

*Translator’s note: The Showa Period lasted from 1926 to 1989.
Sekizenkan

My girlfriend and I stayed here for our anniversary. Shima Onsen is also famous as the place where the onsen inn Sekizenkan is located, whose main building is said to have served as the model for the oil merchant’s place in the Ghibli movie “Spirited Away,” but we chose Kashiwaya Ryokan for its good reviews.

We made our reservation on the ryokan’s website, and we chose the most popular “Akagi beef steak accommodation plan” and the “room with an in-room open air bath.” There is a non-stop bus that goes to Shima Onsen from Tokyo Station for ¥5,100 both ways which we rode. The bus is by reservation only.

The ryokan was cozy, with not a lot of rooms at 15 rooms. However, precisely because of its size, I think that it perfectly suits guests who would like to relax and cherish the time spent with the people whom they are traveling with. We went on a weekend in September and the rooms were fully occupied but we didn’t encounter any of the other guests in the hallways and other areas.

Ultimately, the main feature of this ryokan is that its private open air baths can be used any number of times for free. In other typical ryokans, the time and the number of times that guests may use private baths are specified so we, who looked forward to the onsens the most, were very happy with the “use any number of times for free” feature.

We were able to bathe in and enjoy a lot of baths such as our reserved room’s in-room open air bath, the three private open air baths and the regular public bath for men and the regular public bath for women. In addition, my girlfriend and I were very satisfied with being able to relax without worrying about the time. For those who want to enjoy a number of onsens and for those who want to bathe at the same time with the people they are with, I recommend the room with the in-room open air bath.

Unlike the impression of coziness that we got from the ryokan, the onsens were places where you can really relax which would not be a problem for families with small children.

The meals utilized local and seasonal ingredients, and the mild taste was very good. To my girlfriend and to a meat lover like myself, the main dish of steak was impeccably delicious. It was also great that we had the meal in our room.

The dinner was tasty but the bread that we had for breakfast could go head to head with the steak. We impulsively bought some during our checkout.

Our eyes feasted on the main building of Sekizenkan inn which was used as a model for “Spirited Away,” the Shima River with its characteristic blue color called “Shima blue,” as well as Okushima Lake which are all around Shima Onsen. There is also Kashiwaya Cafe, which is a short walk from the ryokan, and their homemade cake was delicious.

Shima blue

We had great expectations based on its good reviews and also because we would stay in it for our anniversary, and indeed, it was a wonderful ryokan that did not fail us. We definitely want to stay here when we visit Shima Onsen again.

Time:September 2012
Gender:Man
Age:24 years old
Situation:With lover

Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
We sincerely thank you for staying with us at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan for your anniversary as a couple.

Shima Onsen is an onsen resort with a very long history, and is well known for Sekizenkan, which is said to be a model for the movie “Spirited Away,” and the buildings of this ryokan are cultural assets. In addition, it is a town which is used a lot in movie and TV location shoots because of its numerous historical architectural structures.

We are also very glad that you had your fill of Akagi beef steak and enjoyed your onsen baths a lot in your room with an in-room open air bath, as well as spending your precious time together here at Kashiwaya.

The expressway bus that you rode from Tokyo Station to Shima Onsen is very convenient and is reasonably-priced that it is a popular means of transportation.

Thank you too for stopping by at the Kashiwaya Cafe, and for enjoying the “Shima blue” of Shima River, as well as the scenery at Shima Onsen.

We, the whole staff, sincerely look forward to your next visit.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Onsen Ryokan for Vegetarians

As I previously wrote, most ryokan, especially local ryokan, serve as “one night with two meals.” In other words, meal and accommodation are provided as one set, and meals are usually Washoku.

Wasyoku dinner

We, at  Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan also serve dinner as Washoku course cuisine and serve about 10 dishes starting from aperitif. You can choose breakfast from Washoku, Western style, or branch at Kashiwaya cafe located at onsen town.

Japan, surrounded by the sea, is a treasure trove of delicious seafood. In addition, there are many delicious freshwater fish unique in Japan, such as Ayu (sweet fish) and char. Maybe for this reason, most Washoku served at ryokan is a well balanced dish with a combination of vegetables, fish, and meat.

“Katsuo Dashi (Bonito Soup)”, the Basic of Wahoku

Dashi (soup) is also one of the cultures that Japanese Washoku boasts. Among them, Katsuo Dashi is the basic of Washoku and contains rich “Umami (taste).” Katsuo Dashi has been used in many dishes offered in Washoku course meal. Katsuobushi (dried bonito), the origin of Katsuo Dashi, is said to be the hardest food ingredient in the world. It is a food ingredient like an art made with lots of process, time, and intelligence, such as stewing bonito caught in the Pacific Ocean, fumigating, drying, molding, and so on.

washoku

About Meals for Vegetarians

We, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan , are currently happily inviting customers around the world. Due to a variety of circumstances of customers, many customers request meals of mainly vegetables without meat and fish. So we are contriving to meet customers’ requests as much as possible.

We may not be able to always respond to all requests due to congestion situation of the day, and so on. But first, please feel free to contact us.

★For People who cannot Eat Meat
For people who cannot eat meat, we correspond with vegetables and fish. In this case, we can always correspond almost 100%.

★People who cannot Eat Neither Meat nor Fish
Also, for vegetarians who cannot eat neither meat nor fish, we try to correspond as much as possible. But please understand we might ask additional fee as we require extra time (process) for cooking.

To say vegetarians in a bundle, each person has different food to be eatable. Thus, we appreciate it very much if you could tell us the details beforehand with e-mails and so on. Especially eggs, dairy products, and Dashi (soup) are unique to every customer.

Among them, it is very important for us whether we may use Dashi (soup) extracted from bonito (or seafood). As I wrote earlier, because Katsuo Dashi (bonito soup) is the very basic in Japanese food, we have to make other soups and cook meals completely separately with other customers, if we cannot use Katsuo Dashi (bonito soup).

In this case, we mainly use Shojin Dashi (vegetarian soup, extracted from plants, such as kelp and shiitake) and soups extracted from flavoring vegetables.

It should be noted that, unfortunately, we cannot serve meals corresponding to Halal right now. Please acknowledge it beforehand.

Meal is one of the great pleasures of overseas travel, isn’t it? First of all, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and requests.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan

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The Steak is also Delicious in this Onsen Ryokan

The Steak

We went to Shima Onsen for our first trip as a family. We decided on Kashiwaya Ryokan because it had the highest-rated reviews for accommodations online.

Kashiwaya Ryokan is especially famous for its onsens. When we went, there were three onsens that you can have all to yourself, and each one was spacious enough to comfortably accommodate the whole family so were very satisfied. I especially liked the Sakura-no-yu onsen.

SAKURA-no-yu

The food was also impressive. We chose the accommodation plan that included a steak and we were very happy with its size and quality. However, we did mind the smoke a little because we grilled the steak in our room. Nevertheless, considering the steak’s deliciousness, we were able to endure the smoke, LOL.

With regard to the onsens, there was a bath that we could have all to ourselves so the whole family bathed in it. My mom has sensitive skin so she was worried about the water’s properties but the water was very smooth, and it didn’t cause any problems so she was able to enjoy her bath and she raved about it afterwards. She was also impressed with the service which allows you to choose your yukata bathrobe.

Regarding the staff, unexpectedly there were only a few older staff members and there were many younger women. We had no complaints about their customer service and dealings with us, but their private conversations were a little conspicuous.

The next morning, we had brunch at the Kashiwaya Cafe. We had cake and coffee which were of course delicious, but the relaxing atmosphere of the cafe would be appreciated by both males and females, young and old.

The surrounding location of the ryokan was also wonderful, and we were really glad that we chose to stay in Kashiwaya Ryokan and Shima Onsen for our first trip as a family. It’s a ryokan that I’d also like to recommend to my friends.

Time:March 2014
Gender:Man
Age:22 years old
Situation:Family travel

Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
We sincerely thank you and your family for staying with us at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan.

We are thankful that you have had your fill of Akagi beef in the accommodation plan that you chose that includes steak, as well as enjoying our three private, open air baths. We are also grateful for your compliments.

It has long been said that the waters of Shima Onsen are effective in 40,000 ailments. It is a sodium calcium chloride sulfate onsen with superior heat-retentive and moisturizing properties, and is said to be also effective in softening the skin. We are also glad that your mother was pleased.

We, the staff, are in our 20s to our 70s, and while the average age of our staff is very young for a ryokan, we will try to improve by learning from each other for your utmost pleasure.

We sincerely look forward to your next visit. Thank you.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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A Retro yet Modernly Japanese Ryokan

a Japanese room with a bed

When searching for “genuine open air baths” and “somewhat retro ryokan,” I finally found Kashiwaya Ryokan.

It was exactly what I wanted – well, I can say that it was more than what I expected. It had a retro yet modern vibe, and the style of the building’s exterior and interior, the baths and the rooms were patterned after the good old days of the early Showa period,* a concept that was consistent all throughout. It was a good, relaxing ryokan, to the point that even my wife, who says she doesn’t like old buildings, liked it.

What impressed me the most were the three open air baths. You can bathe in them as much as you want as long as they are not being used so I had my fill of all three kinds. Of the three, I liked the “Tsuki no Yu” bath, a round bath made of wood the most. The good scent of the wood and its warm coloring did wonders for my mind and body. Its large size that could accommodate a couple, and of course a family with small children was a strong point.

TSUKI-no-yu

There were different types of rooms, but I chose a Japanese room with a bed as requested by my wife. Since we were at an onsen, we absolutely had to stay in a tatami mat room, but while it was a Japanese room, the bed suited the room very well and it was lovely. The ornaments on the wall were also gently colored, and it had an atmosphere that women especially, would like. We were also thrilled that there was a nostalgic black telephone.

Black Telephone

Our meals had local vegetables and fish, and the seasoning was mild. The flavor was a little light but it’s likely that they wanted to maximize the ingredients’ flavors so they had a very healthy and exquisite taste.

My wife was delighted with the amenities in the room. The shampoo and conditioner were by “THANN,” a famous Asian brand that my wife likes so she was very happy. We were pleased with this kind of thoughtfulness too.

You can choose from various plans to fit your budget, and we were able to stay for an astonishingly reasonable price. Upon asking one of the staff, we were told that the foliage during the fall is considerably beautiful, something which we would like to see next time.

*Translator’s note: The Showa Period lasted from 1926 to 1989.

Time:August 2013
Gender:Man
Age:36 years old
Situation:Family travel

Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
Thank you for staying with us at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan as a couple and for your lovely comments.

The room that you stayed in, our “Japanese Twin” type of room, especially has a retro, classic hotel atmosphere even within Kashiwaya Ryokan, and is a popular room with many repeat guests specifying this type of room. In addition, THANN amenities are perks that are only available in this room and in rooms with in-room open air baths.

Thank you too for enjoying our private open air baths. “Tsuki no Yu” is a very popular, barrel-shaped bath that utilizes Japanese umbrella pine from Kiso.

More than anything, we are glad that you enjoyed your meals. We, the whole staff, sincerely look forward to your next visit.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Kashiwaya Ryokan is an Inn with First-rate

TSUKI-no-yu

When I was planning a family trip for the occasional splurge, I found Shima Onsen’s Kashiwaya Ryokan by coincidence. I was drawn to the delicious-looking food so I decided that we would stay there.

When we arrived at Kashiwaya Ryokan, the staff received us politely and guided us to our room. I chose a room with an in-room open air bath, and the room felt really clean because of the its thorough cleaning. The 10-tatami mat room felt spacious and open, and the view from the outdoor deck was very beautiful and felt exceptional. My wife and I were both impressed, and the children were jumping around in excitement. We have Western-style rooms at home so the Japanese room felt new.

Furthermore, the room included a flowing, open air bath so we didn’t need to go out of our room for our bath and we were free to bathe in our own hot spring.

In addition, aside from the one in the room, there were three private hot springs that one can bathe in as many times as one wants. Families can use them by themselves without worrying about other guests looking at them.

The barrel-shaped open air bath was surrounded by bamboo which allowed us to truly relax. Aside from that bath, there was a stone bath and a bath that utilized Japanese cypress wood. Each baths was wonderful which impressed us greatly. I think that you can hardly find private hot spring baths that you can bathe in as many times as you want in other ryokans.

Moreover, the food was the best. The dinner was Japanese food, and the dishes used seasonal ingredients produced locally in Gunma Prefecture. In addition to being gorgeous in appearance, the food was delicious and had a lot of vegetables so they were healthy and exuded warmth. Also, the Joshu Mugi Pork in the hotpot was fresh, soft and very tasty. We ordered Akagi Beef sirloin steak as an additional dish which we grilled by ourselves. The rich taste of the meat that unfolded in our mouths was exceptional and went well with sake – we were truly impressed. There was also cake on the menu which made the children very happy.

We could choose between Western-style and Japanese breakfasts and we decided on Western-style as requested by the children. The bread baked within the ryokan was freshly-baked and very good, and the omelette with eggs from Gunma Prefecture was very rich. In addition, there was a wide variety of salads and other food so the breakfast was healthy.

This family trip was supposed to be a splurge but the cost was by no means expensive. We felt their hospitality at a fair price.

We were soothed by the hot springs and the food, and it was such an impressive hot spring inn that in my heart, I said “I will definitely come back” in reply to the parting words of the staff of “Please come back” as we were leaving. I think that Kashiwaya Ryokan is a first-rate inn in terms of food, hot springs and hospitality.

Time:December 2012
Gender:Man
Age:33 years old
Situation:Family travel

Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
We really thank you for staying in a room with an in-room open air bath here at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan for your family trip.

We, the whole staff, are very happy that we were of help in creating memories for your family.

We also thank you for bathing many times in the private open air baths aside from bathing in your in-room hot spring with the whole family, as well as your comments on the food.

The Spanish omelette that you praised uses “Sato no Tamago” eggs that are produced with great care by poultry farmers in Nakanojo.

The dinner menu changes five times a year so we will be able to welcome you with new dishes the next time you visit us.

We sincerely look forward to your next visit. Thank you.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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A Beautiful Onsen Ryokan with a Retro Vibe

Retro Space

My wife and I went to Shima Onsen for a trip.

It was our first time at Shima Onsen, and we chose Kashiwaya Ryokan for our accommodations because we were drawn to its retro vibe and its private open air baths.

We really wanted to stay in a room with an in-room open air bath but the rooms were already reserved so we weren’t able to stay in one.

Upon entering the ryokan, a very retro space unfolded before us. There was a beautiful staircase which I especially liked. When I asked one of the employees to take our picture, I was happy that she took a lot of photos while changing places. She was a young staff member whose hospitality was kind and she had a cheerful vibe which was very pleasant.

Aside from the indoor onsens that one can freely bathe in, there were three private open air baths. In many instances, private open air baths in other ryokans need to be reserved in advance and entail additional fees but at Kashiwaya Ryokan there are no extra costs and there is no need to reserve in advance. Moreover, it’s great that one can bathe in them many times. We went when it was very cold, and there was a fan heater in the changing room so it was very good that we were able to change while we were still warm.

There was a lot of food for our dinner; so much that we couldn’t finish it all. We had the accommodation plan that included steak, and we were very happy with the very delicious meat. Personally, I found the salad at breakfast especially tasty. It had a lot of fresh vegetables sourced locally, and I was impressed with their crisp texture.

I thought our room was a little small, but it was just my wife and I so we didn’t mind. However, we heard sounds from the room next to us probably because the building is old, but because of the ryokan’s wonderful retro vibe, we felt that this was part of the fun.

It was a very good ryokan so next time, I’d like to stay in a room with an in-room open air bath.

Time:December 2013
Gender:Man
Age:34 years old
Situation:Family travel

Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
We sincerely thank you and your wife for staying with us at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan.

Kashiwaya Ryokan has undergone a number of renovations but the staircase where you had your photos taken has not been changed since our establishment, and it is our hallmark. We hope you would display your photos or proudly share them on social media.

The accommodation plan which includes Akagi beef steak is our most popular one and guests who choose this plan are very happy with it. Staff members who serve the steak everyday to our guests say “Oh, I want to eat this!” as they serve, LOL.

Thank you too for bathing in our private open air baths a number of times. The water at Shima Onsen has properties of really warming up the body, and is especially recommended during winter.

We hope that you could try staying in one of our rooms with an in-room open air bath next time.
We, the whole staff, sincerely look forward to your next visit.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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