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Ryokan in Hakone - best location?

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Jun 16th, 2011, 02:25 AM
  #1
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Ryokan in Hakone - best location?

We are planning to spend two nights in Hakone in late September and would like to stay in a traditional (although luxurious!) ryokan.
Are the expensive ones really worth the money and what is the best location to be in for doing the Hakone loop? I'm not sure I want to be too near Hakone-Yumoto station (convenient but not the most scenic location?).

Any tips would be appreciated - arigato- gozaimasu!
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Jun 16th, 2011, 03:05 AM
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For me, the best location would be in Gora. You'd be close to several attractions (outdoor museum and Gora Park, for example), you're away from the congestion of Hakone-Yumato or Odawara, and you're directly on the transportation loop.

Is a top ryokan like Gora Kadan worth the money? Absolutely, if your budget can handle it, because it's an experience that you would not be able to replicate anywhere else. On the other hand, if staying at Gora Kadan means that, say, you'd have to cut short your trip by four days, then you could certainly stay at a much more modest place and still have a memorable time.

Don
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Jun 16th, 2011, 05:13 AM
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Dear Don

Thanks for the tips - although harder to get to initially, I thought it might be preferable to be a bit further away from Hakone itself and it sounds like this is true.

Can't decide whether Gora Kadan is too western - it looks lovely but is it not Japanese enough?!

Caroline
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Jun 16th, 2011, 08:06 AM
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Funny, I am hesitant to try Gora Kadan not only because of the price but because it may be too Japanese for me to comprehend......

Gora or Miyanoshita are nice areas to stay in the Hakone region. The Hakone-Yumoto area is cluttered industrial mess and actually a turn off imho. Yet the ryokans in that area do mask out all that mess as soon as you enter its doors.

Your best chance for a Fujisan viewing would be in the mornings and there are areas and hotels in Gora where you can see her. You are also closer to the Ropeway and can be there when they open in the morning for the best views from the Hakone Region.

Aloha!
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Jun 16th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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Aloha!

I'm just not sure I can bring myself to spend that much for a ryokan (for Gora Kadan)!

I have accepted that I am going to have to pay a premium for a Hakone ryokan but paying nearly a thousand pounds a night seems crazy, however lovely it is.

Really appreciate the advice about Hakone-Yumoto and the chance of seeing Fuji-san - am definitely going to go for Goran area. Apart from Gora Kadan, I am thinking of Hakone Ginyu (although they have emailed me and said I will have to wait 5 days before they can tell me whether they have availability!) or Mikawaya.

cheers!

Caroline
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Jun 16th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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Here is a trusted site for reserving ryokan in Hakone

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/db/hakone/index.htm

Also see here for useful information when traveling to the Hakone region.

http://www.hakonenavi.jp/english/

Aloha!
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Jun 20th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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Hi

We just spent some time in Hakone in April and 2 nights were at Gora Kansuiro. It is traditional and beautiful in an understated way. It is close to the station which does make access to ropeway great. We would recommend it highly. We had a room with a private onsen , with a view of the garden from the main room. The food was unforgetable. The staff were attentive but not intrusive. We would love to return in the fall. We were told the maple trees are in full color in early December.
Have fun.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 10:13 AM
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We stayed at Hakone Ginyu and although pricey we felt it was worth every penny. True luxury and very private. Our only regret was that we booked only one night instead of two. By the time we arrived Hakone from Kyoto in the late morning, we didn't have time to do the entire loop before returning to the ryokan for dinner. Hakone Ginyu was also very convenient to do the Hakone Loop.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Statia, you raise an extremely good point about ryokans in general: my feeling is that it's really important to stay for two nights at any ryokan, and not just one.

At just about any ryokan, you have to arrive after 3pm on check-in day, and you have to leave by 10am (11 at latest) when checking out. So if you only spend 1 night, there's hardly any time to relax and get the zeitgeist of the place, if I'm allowed to mix cultures.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 01:27 PM
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I fully agree, Don. Being my first time I was afraid it might be a little too much relaxation with staying more than one night, but I will definitely be staying for two nights the next time. One day and night was just too rushed, even though I would still recommend one night in a ryokan over not getting the experience at all. It was our favorite part of the whole trip.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Twenty-one ryokans or minshuku stays and counting....three more planned for next visit this November.

DT and I never fully agree on anything though this subject qualifies as close. We prefer two nights at the same ryokan except when visiting a onsen town such as Kinosaki, Kurokawa, Noboribetsu, etc.. Then one night at one place followed by another night in a ryokan in the same town we have found let's you get the feel of the place and a more varied experience. Most ryokan visitors, Japanese or foreign, will stay one night then move on we have noticed. Staying two or more nights will get you different foods the second day especially for dinner as the ryokan will try to outdo what they did the first night. We have never been disappointed with the food on the second night(or the first night for that matter).

manekimono-Hope you are still around reading this thread. What is your budget for a ryokan? We can be more specific with our recommendations if we know your budget. Did Hakone-Ginyu ever return with an answer?

Aloha!
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Aug 2nd, 2011, 12:51 PM
  #12
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Hi there

Sorry haven't been back for a while but have just got up to date with the replies. We have booked Hakone-Ginyu as this seems to be a good balance of location/luxury/price. Just couldn't bring myself to pay Gora Kadan's prices!

We are also staying at Shigetsu in Asakusa for 1 night, Iwaso in Miyajima for 2 nights and 2 nights in another ryokan in Osaka (bit modern and tacky but right in the thick of the action!).

We only have one week a year in Japan so are trying to just stay in ryokan. Really looking forward to Hakone - that is the special treat of our trip.

Thank you for all of your help - arigato- gozaimasu!
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Aug 14th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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You will be delighted with Hakone Ginyu. I can't wait to go back myself. That was our splurge of the trip, as well. Looking forward to hearing how you like it!
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Dec 1st, 2014, 03:24 PM
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Hi all, I don't know if I can revive an old thread, but I'm going to try!

I am looking for similar reccomendations for a ryokan in Hakone for April. I really would like a private in room onsen. I quite love Hakone Ginyu as well, but I am having trouble establishing if they are booked for April or just not yet booking for April.

I would love some other ideas of similar level of quality and luxury to check out. I would like to ideally spend in the range of ¥30000 per person/ per night or less.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Dec 1st, 2014, 04:39 PM
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Adalya,

Have you tried booking through the Ryokan Collection? We used them to book Hakone Ginyu months and months in advance and they were of great assistance. They offer the same price as booking through the ryokan directly and the benefit is you don't have to worry about any language barriers.

https://www.ryokancollection.com/eng...?ryokan=hakone

They also were super helpful in conveying our dietary restrictions (in great detail) to the ryokan ... and they even contacted me within an hour of leaving the ryokan when I had forgotten my glasses in the room (I had no idea until they contacted me) -- they even arranged their next-day transport to our hotel in Kyoto.

So, all in all, I'd recommend using them as a booking agency.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 02:32 PM
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filmwill,

Is there a reason you chose Hakone Ginyu? Did you consider other ryokan? We have one night to stay in a ryokan in late March (tacked onto Mr. Crosscheck's work travels) and we're leaning toward Gora Kadan, partly because it's easier to book.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 04:42 PM
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We stayed at Hakone Ginyu in June for one night. It is lovely (getting just a bit worn here and there but overall wonderful), serene, we had a fabulous dinner and great service.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:01 PM
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Thanks guys. I think everyone agrees that Hakone Ginyu is lovely. We were looking for OTHER suggestions because they book up so quickly.

Does anyone have any *other* suggestions?

Thanks!
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:06 PM
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crosscheck,

I think many people choose Hakone Ginyu over Gora Kaden because of price. They are both VERY highly rated, but Gora Kaden runs ~ 60000 yen per person per night, while Hakone Ginyu has rooms starting at 30000 yen per person per night.

I like that rate better personally. But would love some other ideas for properties!
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:07 PM
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crosscheck, my experience was that Gora Kadan can book up upwards of a year in advance so our picking Hakone Ginyu was twofold: 1) availability: it was available to book (and just barely--even 9 months out there were only 2 rooms left) and 2) price: it's expensive but not nearly as expensive as Gora Kadan. Don't think you'll go wrong either way, to be honest. It's gorgeous up there.

Adalya, sorry that folks chiming in about HG is bothersome. After all, you mentioned that you were having trouble booking it. I merely provided you an easier way to do so.
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