Luxury ryokan Hakone Ginyu

One of my best ryokan experiences (19-20 Dec 2012)
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Just arriving into the town of Hakone, enjoying the scenic view.

Hakone is about 2 hours drive from Tokyo, and spending 2 nights here was a nice break from our Tokyo leg which we spent from 16 to 26 December in 2012. We rented a car from a shop near Shibuya Excel Hotel where we stayed. Although it was bit of a chicken and duck talk with the rental car guy, we were able to figure out that all we needed to key into the GPRS was the local japanese telephone number. It was great that I was clever enough to buy a wonderful local Hakone guide in Japanese with pictures and telephone number to refer to.

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View on the highway to Hakone

STAY Y and I am totally obsessed about ryokans and onsens, so a lot of research went into choosing the right ryokan. We decided on luxury ryokan Hakone Ginyu. Booking can be made through http://www.ryokancollection.com/eng/. Located in a beautiful mountaineous region, many of the rooms overlooked the mountains and had a serene feel to them. We stayed in 2 different Japanese style rooms over 19 and 20 December – Hoshi on the 19th and Kaze on the 20th which basically was the largest room in the ryokan and took up half of the top floor. They also have western rooms, but we preferred to experience the full Japanese experience. What’s best is these rooms come with their own attached hot spring bath.

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View from the main balcony on the lobby reception floor. Breathtaking views!

We paid for the Hoshi-style room : 32000 yen per person, and the Kaze-style room: 38000 yen per person. And it was really easy to book through the Ryokan Collection who was very fast and responsive in answering to my queries when booking the room.

We were so excited just looking out at the wonderful view once we checked in.
We were so excited just looking out at the wonderful view once we checked in.

We were greeted with a drink in the lounge area while they sorted out our check-in information.
We were greeted with a drink in the lounge area while they sorted out our check-in information.

After we had our drink, a young Japanese kimono clad lady took our bags and brought us to the Hoshi style room – called Yusei on the 3rd floor.

View of floor plan in the lift. We stayed in the Yusei room (3rd floor) on 1st night, and the Keifu room (4th floor) on 2nd night.
View of floor plan in the lift. We stayed in the Yusei room (3rd floor) on 1st night, and the Keifu room (4th floor) on 2nd night.

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The aisle leading to the guest rooms had a very serene and zen feel.

1st night in Yusei room (游星) I like the meaning of it in Mandarin – it’s like “Swimming Stars”

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Lovely local products – baked cheesecake and biscuits awaited us after we arrived in the room.

Home sweet home - Yusei room - the sleeping area and dining room is separated by Japanese sliding doors.
Home sweet home – Yusei room – the sleeping area and dining room is separated by Japanese sliding doors.

Oh am so loving the toilet. It's the best toilet I have experienced in ryokans, with their own selection of toiletries for one to enjoy.
Oh am so loving the toilet. It’s the best toilet I have experienced in ryokans, with their own selection of toiletries for one to enjoy.

Hot spring bath attached to the Yusei room - pure bliss, overlooking the mountains.
Hot spring bath attached to the Yusei room – pure bliss, overlooking the mountains.

A very important onsen etiquette - this is also present in the bedroom toilets. One is meant to sit here and wash and soap their body properly before going into the hot bath.
A very important onsen etiquette – this is also present in the bedroom toilets. One is meant to sit here and wash and soap their body properly before going into the hot bath.

Dinner – 1st night It’s a traditional kaiseki gastronomic experience everyday – breakfast and lunch for the 2 nights we were there. We didn’t have to worry about being hungry, although R seemed to be concerned on the 1st day that we may not have enough to eat. After dinner, he was so stuffed.

Me just can't wait to dig into the kaiseiki meal.
Me just can’t wait to dig into the kaiseiki meal.

Dinner menu for the 1st night
Dinner menu for the 1st night

My first night Kaiseki experience!
My first night Kaiseki experience!

We had some drinks at the bar together before returning to the room, really sleepy and snoozed…
We had some drinks at the bar together before returning to the room, really sleepy and snoozed…

Breakfast – 2nd day Rise and shine – we opted for the latest timing to be served breakfast which was 9 am heh heh. Yes in all these Japanese ryokans, the day starts early, no sleeping in till 11 am.

Just woken up - waiting for the Japanese lady to set our breakfast table.
Just woken up – waiting for the Japanese lady to set our breakfast table.

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Some kind of
Some kind of “yin yang” tofu. Must say the breakfast is very healthy but filling.

2nd night in Keifu Room IMG_0095

We went out the whole day and returned to the Keifu room which was a really large room, it was the only guest room on the 4th floor. We felt really pampered.

The outdoor area has a totally alfresco seating and also a semi-enclosed balcony with seats facing the window, perfect for admiring the mountain view in the day. A pity we didn't have much chance to enjoy this space. The outdoor area has a totally alfresco seating and also a semi-enclosed balcony with seats facing the window, perfect for admiring the mountain view in the day. A pity we didn’t have much chance to enjoy this space.

The futon beds were laid out for us while we had our dinner in the other room. And they placed our yutaka for us on our beds. The futon beds were laid out for us while we had our dinner in the other room. And they placed our yutaka for us on our beds.

The dining room looks out to a large patio with additional seating and 2 hot spring baths! The dining room looks out to a large patio with additional seating and 2 hot spring baths!

Nice spacious toilet that leads out to the hot springs.
Nice spacious toilet that leads out to the hot springs.

Can't wait to go into the hot spring bath - this one is in the enclosed toilet.
Can’t wait to go into the hot spring bath – this one is in the enclosed toilet.

Not one but two hot baths. This hot bath is outside of the enclosed toilet, perfect for enjoying that cool breeze while I soak in the hot bath. Not one but two hot baths. This hot bath is outside of the enclosed toilet, perfect for enjoying that cool breeze while I soak in the hot bath.

Dinner – 2nd day IMG_5056IMG_0092

More, more kaiseki Japanese food, I loved especially the porridge at the end of the course.
More, more kaiseki Japanese food, I loved especially the porridge at the end of the course.

 

Breakfast – 3rd day – day of departure

Wakey wakey! Oohh, I so didn’t want to get up, knowing this was our last day in Hakone Ginyu, but I had to eventually.

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We opted for a Western Style breakfast today, which was really scrumptious, probably yummier I think than the Japanese breakfast, maybe because the food selection here offered items we could relate more to as typical breakfast food then what we are accustomed to.

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A truly scrumptious, satisfying Western Style breakfast.
A truly scrumptious, satisfying Western Style breakfast.

We took one last dip in the hot spring bath before packing our bags and saying goodbye to Hakone!

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