Local Train Station: Odawara From Tokyo: From Tokyo Station take the shinkansen to Odawara. At Odawara station, take either the #3 or #5 Hokone bus and get out at Ashinoyu. Travel Time: Shinkansen to Odawara, 40 minutes. Bus to Ashinoyu, 50 minutes. Total travel time approx. 1 hour 30 minutes.
Price: Rates start at Y11,000 (including breakfast and dinner). The ryokan has 53 rooms. Days Closed: None Day Visit Option: Y1,000 (12:30pm - 4:00pm). Day visitors are restricted to a limited number of the 15 baths, but have a special resting room available to them. Credit Cards: Yes
Onsen Specifics: Eight indoor baths, seven outdoor baths. Four of the tubs are available for private bathing. Water Good For: Skin problems, constipation, womens' health issues, diabetes. Water Composition: Weak alkaline sulphur
Located in Hakone National Park, Kinakuniya dates from 1715 and served as a popular resting spot for travelers on the Tokaido Road connecting Tokyo and Kyoto. This area, known as Hakone Onsen, has many ryokan, but Kinakuniya is unique due to its antiquity.
The ryokan has gone through numerous upgrades over the past 285 years so its 15 baths run the gamut of both modern and traditional materials and style.
Interesting factoid: the inn counts U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant as a past visitor, as well-known Japanese writers and artists. The ryokan has a museum on the premises devoted to its history.
An interesting side trip from Hakone is to take a gondola to nearby Lake Ashino (Ashino-ko) and take one of the tourist ferries on the lake. Snow-capped Mt. Fuji can be easily viewed from the ferry.
Comments on the web are mixed, with some reviews commenting favorably on the various types of baths, while other reviews are less positive -- one expressing shock that one of the baths for women is made of a plastic material and the fact that day-visitors are not permitted to use all the baths.
Some comments point to often crowded conditions at the baths.
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