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“Best ryokan for traditional ryokan and Onsen experience.”

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Kinosaki Onsen Nishimuraya Honkan
Ranked #1 of 126 Hotels / Ryokan in Toyooka
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best ryokan for traditional ryokan and Onsen experience.”
Reviewed 4 April 2013 via mobile

My sister and I stayed at this ryokan for one night in early April. We had a little train trouble getting to Kinosakionsen, and did not arrive until 6pm. When we called the ryokan to inform them of our late arrival, they organized a car to pick us up from the station which was fantastic.
Simply put, the service was exemplary. A girl named Risa was assigned to look after us for the period of our stay. She was absolutely lovely. The seasonal dinner and breakfast included are exquisitely presented and taste even better. It was our first time eating a traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast and were amazed at the quantity of food - so make sure you're hungry for it!
The hotel is very near to the most popular public bath house called Goshono-yu, but the in-house Onsen baths are excellent as well. In addition to the public onsens, your room also has a private bathroom.
Our room looked into the beautiful inner garden which you were free to walk through and admire in your provided yukata and geta.
The ryokan also gives you beautiful patterned yukata with obi (belt) to wear but requires help from one of the staff. Risa offered to dress us in ours and took photos for us. It was a great experience.
Overall, our favourite experience in Japan. We would have loved to stay longer to experience more of the bath houses in the town of Kinosakionsen, however our budget didn't allow for this.
It would also be amazing to stay during the time of the summer festival, where you can wear the beautiful Yukata's throughout the town along with everyone else.

  • Stayed April 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank SarahBethany9192
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
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English first
London
Level Contributor
83 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2013

Kinosaki Onsen is a beautiful town that has got sustainable tourism down to a fine art. You are met at the tiny train station by very helpful English-speaking guides who take you to the little Tourist office opposite. Here you can leave your bags to be sent on to your hotel or alternatively jump on a little bus to take you there. We took the first option and set off on foot. The town itself is tiny and is mostly composed of Onsen baths in addition to a few restaurants and bars. It's lovely to walk around and we liked the open air springs where people sat soaking their feet during the day and evening.

The hotel was an exquisite experience. Our room was beautiful, the service faultless and the food easily comparable to Michelin-starred quality both at dinner and breakfast. We had a multiple-course Kaiseki experience in the evening, served in our room, and then set out in our Yukatas and funny wooden flip-flops to clip along the cobbled streets on a tour of the baths. We managed a few before retiring back to the hotel and enjoying the in-house spa which was the nicest of the lot.

I've still never experienced a peace as pure as the feeling of sitting in a hot stone spring bath in the cool night air, surrounded by beautiful plants, squeaky clean, skin scrubbed and glowing.

If you have time I would definitely recommend this lovely place for a day or two.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LondonZoeJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2012

My partner and I stayed at this wonderful ryokan for 1 night. It was a real treat! The service was impeccable and the food delicious. The manager showed us around and was very helpful at showing me how to put on a traditional kimono. We enjoyed walking around town visiting several onsens. The next day we took a cable car up a hill and walked back down before heading back to Osaka.

Our stay was perfect in every sense and staff were very helpful and friendly. It was Japanese hospitality at its very best.

Room Tip: We stayed in a room with a private onsen. It was fantastic and we felt very relaxed and comfortable.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank oaxaca12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2012

"Lonely Planet" recommends this property for Japan travelers who want to experience the best and most authentic "ryokan" (traditional Japanese hotel) and "onsen" (thermal bath) experience. We could not agree more.

The town Kinosakionsen is easily accessible by direct train from Kyoto or Osaka within 3 hours and the stay in the laid back traditional town complemented our travel experience to the large Japanese cities we had traveled before.

This is not a cheap place, however a high-class 5 star experience which is worth the money. The in-house onsen is exquisite, however the hotel stay also grants free access to any of the seven public onsen.

The rooms are nice with view on a Japanese styled garden, but the most memorable experience provides the foods. We enjoyed authentic Japanese 10 course dinners and 5 course breakfasts which were served by a dedicated waitress sitting on the floor table in the room. The possibility to try this large variety of Japanese food which was presented in very nicely decorated dishes was a great experience.

We walked around town in the classic Yukata (kimono) and Geta (wooden sandals) which were provided by the hotel, going from one onsen to the next.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Matthias_Dubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2012 via mobile

Top notch service (picked up in shuttle from the train station, staff came out to the street to greet us, luggage delivered to train station upon check-out). Sliding doors in room open up to a zen garden. Many courses of traditional food served in your room. Check-in early to take advantage of the 7 onsens you have access to in town. Book this if you want the ultimate ryokan experience.

  • Stayed September 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank NhuToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
77 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2012

In April 2012 we returned for the fifth time to Nishimura-Ya Honkan in Kinosaki Onsen. We stayed for two nights in room 18 on the ground floor with a prime view over the beautiful internal garden. Previously we have stayed 3 times in room 22 which is on the second floor with a view of the gardens and the mountains. We have also stayed in the Horai room but didn’t quite like it given that there is no garden view.

Overall, Nishimura-Ya Honkan is very affordable considering the quality of the experience. Here you “only” need to pay around Yen 30,000 per person in comparison to the Yen 40,000-60,000 you will likely pay at Tawaraya and Kinmata in Kyoto or Asada-ya in Kanazawa. Having stayed at all three, and more than 10 other high-end ryokan, we can safely conclude that Nishimura-Ya Honkan is exceptional.

Arguably the price tag is quite affordable considering that you get a full kaiseki meal in the evening and a splendid Japanese or Western breakfast in the morning. Hence, the room rate should be compared with staying at a Relais Château in France and having a Menu Dégustation in the evening.

Apart from the ryokan itself, Kinosaki Onsen is a star attraction given the 7 public soto-yu bathhouses scattered around town. This is one of the few places in Japan where visitors don yukata (cotton kimono) and walk using geta (clogs) from one bathhouse to another. If you are short of time, the best ones are arguably Gosho-no-yu, Kou-no-yu and perhaps the large Sato-no-yu next to the station. In addition, as a guest at Nishimura-Ya Honkan, you can visit the Nishimura-Ya Hotel Shogetsu and use the spectacular baths there. This hotel is about a 10 minute walk from Nishimura-Ya Honkan but staff will also happily arrange for transport.

It will take about 2.5 hours to reach Kinosaki Onsen from Kyoto and about 3 hours from Osaka.

During the winter months, Nishimura-Ya Honkan serves a more pricey crab kaiseki meal. Having tried both options, we prefer the regular kaiseki as having crab with every course is a bit too much for us. Barbecuing the crab in the room also leaves you with the smell of burnt hair/skin which can be somewhat unpleasant.

We are already looking forward to our sixth visit!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Swedish_Expat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

absolutely amazing time. unique experience loaded with culture and top end Japanese hospitality. the dinner and breakfast was very good; and very filling - I still can't believe how much food they serve, be ready too eat a multi course meal. the garden is amazing, and oh so peaceful at night with the fresh cool breeze. wifi, and a computer is available - but who wants that when you're relaxing in the beautiful onsens.

Room Tip: the only thing i did not like was the room stinking like roasted crab and fish after eating your mea...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank KelloCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kinosaki Onsen Nishimuraya Honkan

Property: Kinosaki Onsen Nishimuraya Honkan
Address: 469 Kinosakicho Yushima, Toyooka 669-6101, Hyogo Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Kinki > Hyogo Prefecture > Toyooka > Kinosaki Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Toyooka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kinosaki Onsen Nishimuraya Honkan 4.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nishimuraya Honkan is a traditional Japanese ryokan, located in the famouse hot spring town of Kinosaki Onsen, near Kyoto/Osaka. Our ryokan has more than 150 years of history and was selected as "best onsen ryokan" in Japan by Lonely Planet and is also listed in the Michelin Guide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nishimuraya Honkan Hotel Toyooka
Kinosaki Onsen Nishimuraya Honkan Japan/Toyooka, Hyogo

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