Continuing in our Kinosaki Onsen series, I’m here to tell you about one more amazing place to stay during your visit to Kinosaki.
Yamamoto-ya boasts a unique distinction: it is the oldest ryokan in the whole town. It’s been welcoming guests since the Edo period!
It also happens to be a mid-size ryokan with the best of both worlds – attentive, personal service and a wide range of activities to enjoy inside, including public and private hot spring baths, a traditional Japanese teahouse, restaurant, and bar. One highlight for me was the four types of locally-brewed beer!
Note the beer placard. There is also a restaurant open to the public, so you can stop in to enjoy the “ji-beer” (locally-brewed beer) whenever you’re in the area.
The rooms are Japanese-style. There are also some large rooms available for families and groups. Some rooms face a private Japanese garden.
Of course, dinner served in your room is the only way to fully enjoy the traditional experience.
Our meal started out with some fresh sashimi from the Sea of Japan.
And, of course, the ubiquitous crab that draws in visitors throughout the winter season.
The piece de resistance was Tajima beef.
We also had tempura and a variety of other side dishes. (Tempura as a side dish! Ha!)
One activity I highly recommend in Kinosaki is taking a stroll around town after dark. There are lots of little shops open, and you might feel tempted to wander down a dark alley or two. You’ll make lots of discoveries. Here are some of ours:
Of course, many of the public hot spring baths around town are also open after dark. Check our article The Seven Spas of Kinosaki Onsen for all the details.
To sum up, I had a lovely time at this venerable onsen ryokan when I visited this winter. The proprietors are kind and friendly but also respect your privacy, and the meals, rooms, and hot springs are all completely authentic and delightful.
Hours: Check-in: 3 PM – 6 PM. Check-out: 10 AM.
Address: 643 Kinosaki-cho Yushima, Toyooka-shi, Hyogo 669-6101
Website: http://www.kinosaki.com/en/ (English)
How To Get There
From Kobe Sannomiya: Take the JR limited express “Hamakaze” to Kinosaki Onsen station (2.5 hours). Yamamoto-ya is a short walk from the station.