A Luxury Stay At Nishimuraya Honkan in Kinosaki Onsen, Japan

The Gardens at Nishimuraya Honkan

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A Luxury Stay at Nishimuraya Honkan

One experience you should have while in Japan is staying in a traditional Japanese ryokan. Thus, the ryokans in Kinosaki Onsen, which is a quick trip from Kyoto or Osaka, will give you a luxurious experience that will pamper and refresh you!

As denoted by the name, Kinosaki is the onsen district of the city of Toyooka, Japan. Onsens are the traditional Japanese baths, typically with water from natural hot springs. Kinosaki Onsen has been regarded as one of the best onsen towns in Japan, with over 1,400 years of onsen history.

During our time in Kinosaki Onsen, we stayed at Nishimuraya Honkan which we will be covering our experience in this luxury ryokan in this post. However, if you are looking for another place to stay in Kinosaki Onsen or things to do in Kinosaki Onsen, check out this post.


How to Get to Kinosaki Onsen

Train station at Kinosaki Onsen
Train station at Kinosaki Onsen

From Osaka: Take the JR Kounotori line from Shin-Osaka station to Kinosaki Onsen Station (estimated time: 2h 48min)

From Kyoto: Take the JR Kinosaki Limited Express line from Kyoto station to Kinosaki Onsen Station (estimated time: 2h 45min)

From Tokyo: Take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Hikari or Kodama if using the JR pass) from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station no later than 10:30AM in order to reach Kinosaki Onsen before 4:00PM. From Shin-Osaka station take the JR Kounotori line to Kinosaki Onsen Station. (estimated time: 5-6h)

However, we didn’t take these routes because we were coming from Hiroshima, so we took the Shinkansen to Himeji Station then took the Hamakaze JR line to Kinosaki Onsen.

After you arrive, Nishimuraya Honkan has a complimentary shuttle bus that will pick you up from Kinosaki Onsen Station and take you directly to the ryokan. Just be sure to contact them ahead of time to let them know your approximate time of arrival.


Our Stay at Nishimuraya Honkan

Exterior of Nishimuraya Honkan in Kinosaki Onsen
Exterior of Nishimuraya Honkan in Kinosaki Onsen

With a history of 150 years, Nishimuraya Honkan is a luxurious ryokan with onsen (some private), exquisite dining, beautiful gardens, and an onsite museum. The museum features a collection of paintings, photographs, and artifacts from the past history of Nishimuraya Honkan as well as the town of Kinosaki Onsen too.

Museum at Nishimuraya Honkan
Museum at Nishimuraya Honkan

We wanted to have a day of relaxation between all our days of heavy travel in Japan, and staying at a traditional Japanese ryokan was the perfect way to do so. We elected to splurge on a room with a private garden and onsen so we wouldn’t have to book specific times to enjoy a private onsen and add to the romance of staying in an onsen town. But there is an onsen that is public for hotel guests to enjoy at any time.

READ MORE: Important Things to Know Before Traveling to Japan


Check-in Process & Staff at Nishimuraya Honkan

Front desk and entrance to Nishimuraya Honkan.
Front desk and entrance to Nishimuraya Honkan.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the staff of Nishimuraya Honkan at the train station where staff collected our bags and drove us on their shuttle bus to the ryokan. When we got to the ryokan, we checked-in with a staff member and arranged your meal times and other additional on-site experiences we wanted to enjoy.

An example of their helpfulness and hospitality can be best described in a situation that occurred during our stay. When checking in, we found out our train ticket was booked for early the next morning and would not be able to enjoy our traditional Japanese breakfast due to the departure time. Staff assisted us in rearranging our train ticket so we were able to stay longer and enjoy this experience!


Interior at Nishimuraya Honkan

Sitting area of Nishimuraya Honkan
A small sitting area at Nishimuraya Honkan with agarden view.

After checking in, we were shown around the ryokan before visiting our room. The lobby of Nishimuraya Honkan has many seating areas to relax and a cozy bar area that was available to all guests.

Sitting area at Nishimuraya Honkan.
Sitting area at Nishimuraya Honkan.

Kinosaki Onsen prides themselves on their craftsmanship and local goods, therefore having a gift shop inside a ryokan is extremely common. There are beautiful linens, pottery pieces, fans, chopsticks, and food goods that are all available for purchase in the gift shop.

A gift shop.
Gift shop in the main lobby.

READ MORE: Things to Do in Kinosaki Onsen


The Gardens at Nishimuraya Honkan

The Gardens at Nishimuraya Honkan
The gardens at Nishimuraya Honkan.

Something else that is very special and unique to Nishimuraya Honkan is its on-site gardens. The gardens are perfectly manicured and very tranquil to spend time in. There is a place to pray, enjoy the koi fish, and walk around while gazing at the beauty of the garden.

The gardens at Nishimuraya Honkan.
The gardens at Nishimuraya Honkan.

Our Room with Private Onsen at Nishimuraya Honkan

View of the garden area and open-air bath from the living space in the Hatsune Room at  Nishimuraya Honkan.
View of the garden area and open-air bath from the living space of our room at Nishimuraya Honkan.

If you are looking to have an experience of ultimate luxury and romance, we recommend staying in a room with private onsen. We stayed in the Hatsune room with an open-air bath which was quite spacious and had an on-suite private bathroom, large vanity including toiletries, and an outdoor shower.

Nishimuraya Honkan also provided us with Yukata to wear while we were out and about or to wear while relaxing in our room. In the evening after dinner, your table and chairs are removed and your futon beds are placed on the floor and fluffed.

The summer yukata the staff laid out for us to wear around the town of Kinosaki Onsen.
The summer yukata the staff laid out for us to wear around the town.

Kaiseki Dining at Nishimuraya Honkan

During our stay at Nishimuraya Honkan, we elected to have the traditional Japanese meals in the form of Kaiseki dining. Kaiseki is a multi-course dinner that often features small portioned, artistically arranged seasonal dishes.

Overall, we found the food to be wonderful and such a unique dining experience. A few of the traditional dishes we tried were uni (sea urchin), sazae (horned turban sea snail),  and chirimen jako (young salted dried sardines or anchovies).

READ MORE: Dining Guide for Japan

Other Information for Nishimuraya Honkan

Address: Japan, 〒669-6101 Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosakicho Yushima, 469 西村屋 本館
Cost of rooms: 45000 JPY – 55000 JPY/night (check current rates)

Kinosaki Onsen, Japan
Walking through the streets in Kinosaki Onsen.

While our visit to a Kinosaki Onsen was brief, we enjoyed every moment of this beautiful town far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and deep into the mountains of Japan.


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Spend 24 hours in Kinosaki Onsen, Japan. A quaint and relaxing onsen town that is a nice break from the busy city! www.pagesoftravel.org

23 Comments

  • Reply
    Hiroshima, Japan | Pages of Travel
    January 11, 2016 at 5:09 AM

    […] After getting a good nights rest, we packed up and headed to the hotspring town Kinosaki Onsen (Toyooka)! (click here to read more) […]

  • Reply
    Hiroshima, Japan | Pages of Travel
    October 23, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    […] After getting a good nights rest, we packed up and headed to the hot spring town, Kinosaki Onsen. […]

  • Reply
    10 of the Wackiest Foods to Try From Around the World | Pages of Travel
    November 7, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    […] Upon first glance uni almost looks like an orange animal tongue which, of course, will immediately put some people off. However, uni is considered a luxury in Japanese culture and has a rich, creamy texture. Unlike what you would normally expect, it’s not at all “fishy.” We were warned by many people to steer clear of it because of it’s pungent taste but were pleasantly surprised at how mellow it was upon trying it fresh at a ryokan we were staying in. […]

  • Reply
    Chrysoula
    November 19, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    That is a lovely city. I love natural baths but I didn’t have the time to visit one when I was in Japan. Although I love tasting traditional things everywhere I go, I would prefer a continental breakfast!

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 19, 2016 at 9:55 PM

      It was a beautiful experience! The natural baths are an added bonus to this quaint town. If you do visit this specific ryokan they do have a “Westernized” breakfast option that would be what you’re hoping for. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vicki
    November 20, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    I love your photos of the Japanse Gardens – the green and the details are just beautiful. And you’re room looked pretty special too! I can’t wait to get to Japan and experience an Onsen for myself!

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 20, 2016 at 10:37 AM

      Thank you Vicki! It was a cooler, slightly rainy day when we were there which made the green of the garden pop even more. We loved it! The room was a splurge but well worth it for the experience. I hope you are able to visit and experience this as well!

  • Reply
    Raghav
    November 20, 2016 at 12:38 AM

    Such a lovely post and amazing photos. Japan has always fascinated me the most and I hope to travel there once again in the future. I was there as a kid so not many memories from that trip. I actually saw and TV episode on Onsen and since then have been intrigued about the area. Certainly looks like a must visit place.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 20, 2016 at 10:36 AM

      Thank you very much! Japan has been our favorite country thus far. The people are so considerate and the culture is fascinating to us both; especially Logan as he is part Japanese. I hope you’re able to make a return trip soon!

  • Reply
    Christina
    November 20, 2016 at 5:02 AM

    There’s something special about spending time at a Japanese onsen. The traditional bathing rituals are timeless and the gardens are beautiful. I think it’s a chance to rebalance your soul.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 20, 2016 at 10:35 AM

      I completely agree with you Christina! We had been walking nearly 20-25 miles each day prior to our time in Kinosaki Onsen so it was incredibly nice to unwind here for a short while.

  • Reply
    mags
    November 20, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    This looks like such a great traditional Japanese city. I love all of the koi ponds, they’re so peaceful.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 21, 2016 at 10:50 PM

      We enjoyed the koi ponds as well. This town was far from typical and had very little tourism except that of Japanese people coming from nearby cities. It was very nice to get away from the urban hustle and bustle for a short while.

  • Reply
    Mr Mike
    November 20, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    I always thought those outfits were kimonos. But the name yukatas sounds so much cooler! The private onsen sounds wonderful! Great trip 🙂

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 21, 2016 at 10:48 PM

      You’re actually right as well! Kimonos are typically make from silk, while Yukatas are made from cotton and are more typically worn in the summer months as the fabric is lighter. 🙂

      We LOVED having the onsen right in our room, it was very beautiful and the light rain we had that day was soothing as well.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Carmen
    November 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    What a lovely 24 hours! Those gardens look beautiful. Also, how cool to have a hot spring in your room! Lovely, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 21, 2016 at 10:46 PM

      It was quick but a much needed relaxing day. The gardens were so lush and green due to the light, drizzling rain which honestly, we didn’t mind so much! Thank you for reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    Anne @TravelTheGlobe (@TTGLOBE4L)
    November 22, 2016 at 2:33 AM

    I loved Japan when we went skiing there. Disappointing however we did not have enough time to visit a onset and I would really love to return in order to do so. Looks fab

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 25, 2016 at 11:04 AM

      Anne, I’m glad you enjoyed Japan as well! We were there during the summer so we didn’t get to ski but would love to go back and try it there! We’ll have to swap places. 🙂

  • Reply
    vishalgmr1971
    November 22, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Lovely city, full of greenery and a lot of good people and not to forget talented visitors.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 25, 2016 at 11:03 AM

      It really is! I take it you’ve visited before? 🙂

  • Reply
    Carla Abanes
    November 22, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    I can totally live there! Loved the koi pond and the gardens. I don’t know how you can stay for only 24hours. Should stay longer but I bet it was expensive?

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      November 25, 2016 at 11:02 AM

      Carla, I completely agree with you. A little over 24 hours wasn’t nearly enough. The onsens vary in price but yes they can be costly which is why we opted for a one night stay. 🙂

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