All About Japan

Top 8 Exclusive En Suite Onsen in Kyoto

| Onsen , Ryokan

Not everyone feels comfortable with public nudity. If you wish to pamper yourself with a private hot spring, try an en suite ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) for an indulgent overnight experience. This article will guide you to eight great en suite ryokan you can stay in Kansai, accessible from the former Japanese capital of Kyoto.

8. Nishimuraya Honkan

Located 2.5 hours by train from Kyoto, Nishimuraya Honkan is a ryokan with 150 years of tradition. Featuring a large Japanese garden, traditional Japanese-style guest rooms and fine Japanese kaiseki cuisine, the hot spring water in the inn comes from the renowned Kinosaki Onsen that has 1,400 years of history. Travel back into Japan’s nostalgic past as you pass through the old gate of the inn.

Unwind with a refreshing soak in the comfort of your en suite onsen surrounded by lush greenery. Or you can also check out the three types of public hot spring baths in the inn: the indoor bath, Kichino-yu, with an outdoor bath in bamboo grove; the Chinese-style Fukuno-yu; and the Shouno-yu with views of a large and bright garden. Tuck into top-notch Tajima beef on your dinner plate, alongside a variety of fresh seafood for a refined taste. You will also be able to enjoy the seasonal Matsuba snow crab harvested from the Sea of Japan if you stay anytime between November 7 and March 31. Complement these dishes with flavorful local Tajima sake for a divine meal.

7. Otozure

Otozure has 18 private guest rooms, and all of them are fitted with open-air bath for your exclusive use. Compared to other inns, the size of the rooms here are much larger for unparalleled comfort, ranging from 69 to 139 square metres. If you wish, you may also enjoy a soak in the large public bath at the main wing - Otani Sanso, surrounded with Japanese cypress and paved with stones inside. Furthermore, the inn is designed to harmonize with the surrounding beautiful nature, evoking a pleasant and calm feeling throughout your stay. Of course, you will be able to savour fresh and lightly seasoned Kaiseki cuisine as you relax and unwind at Otozure.

6. Beniya Mukayu

Also located in the Yamashiro hot spring area, Beniya Mukayu is a cosy 17-room inn nestled in the mountains of Yakushiyama. All rooms are fitted with a private open-air bath on the terrace. Nonetheless, you are free to enjoy the large public bath facility as well if you wish. The water from Yamashiro onsen is the most superior and it is good even for drinking and long-time bathing.

Since Kaga is known for fine quality foods and craft, you can expect a lovely feast at the inn, not just for your tastebuds, but also for your eyes. In fact, if you stay in a Japanese-Western-Style room, dinner and breakfast can be served in the comfort of your room.

5. Araya Totoan

Hidden in the Yamashiro hot spring area, Araya Totoan is an elegant inn that has been around for 18 generations. Calm your senses in the rare and precious Yamashiro hot spring water that is highly acclaimed since the old Taisho period. Its superb quality has even garnered the gold prize at the International exhibition of mineral hot spring in Germany!

Enjoy a delicious meal made with rich local ingredients without too much cooking and garnishing. Admire the beautifully crafted Kutani-yaki and Yamanaka lacquerware handed down for generations used to present your dishes. At night, chill in the elegant 'Arisugawa Sanso' bar lounge that was loved by the Imperial Family in the bygone days.

4. Sekitei

Located on the slope of Miyahama Onsen hill, Sekitei is a popular ryokan with a beautiful Japanese garden. While you may not get the impressive ocean view right in front of the inn, this hidden location creates a calm and tranquil feeling as you enjoy the overnight onsen experience. You will be able to spot Miyajima Island with its giant torii gate from the ryokan.

At Sekitei, the chef will prepare your favourite dishes using seasonal local ingredients to satisfy your refined tastebuds. Besides enjoying the private onsen in your room, you can also hop into public hot spring baths, delicately designed for a unique experience. Furthermore, you can read a book in the library overlooking the beautiful and peaceful garden.

Read full story: