Kashiwaya Ryokan had provided us with our very first experience in a traditional style ryokan in early March 2007 & those wonderful memories lingered on till 2011, Boxing Day, we've decided it was time to pay them another visit.
From Ueno station, we took the 11:44am local train for approximately 118 minutes to JR Takasaki Station, then transfer to JR Agatsuma Line for another 55 minutes to Nakanojo Station & thereafter another 30 minutes bus ride up to the mountain where Kashiwaya Ryokan sits at the entrance of Shima Onsen. Upon arrival, the bus stopped directly opposite of the Ryokan & Koyama san, one of the English speaking staff was there to greet us warmly.
Our checking in was at 3pm & as per our request, they had reserved the Ume room (Plum room) for us, when we had stayed then; except for the TV, basically nothing has changed in that spacious room with a lavatory & an open air balcony & how could we forget the calming sound of running water coming from the river that greets all its guests, sits directly opposite of Kashiwaya Ryokan. & being on the second floor we could see the river from our room & the beautiful scenery that nature has to offer.
Dinner was at 7.00pm, so that gave us ample time to explore the nearby vicinity. As we were walking up towards Shima Onsen town, we chanced upon a nice little café that served up lip smacking cheese cake & excellent cappuccino & then we realized that this café is also owned by Kashiwaya Ryokan, it’s called Kashiwaya Café; trust me you won’t regret it.
Dining in our room gave us loads of privacy with an English menu provided for, it was a feast not to forget & we were so stuffed by the time the whole kaiseiki was done. After dinner, Koyama san & his staff cleared the dinner tables & prepared our futons for the night; do not doubt the futons, it kept us warm through out the snowy winter’s night just with our yukata only.
With 2 indoor shared public baths for each gender, you might get the whole bath to yourself if you go there earlier in the morning. Not forgetting they have 3 open air private baths on a first come first served basis, do try them for yourself if you get a chance to, with nature surrounding you & seeing the sunrise or sunset, it’s a totally new & wonderful experience.
Breakfast menu didn’t change much from then, you either have the Western or the Japanese but there was a slightly difference in the premises where it was partaken, now it’s in the common dining area on the first floor instead of the individual guests’ rooms.
Check out time was at noon, if you’d enjoyed their berry wine or pear juice or other souvenirs, you can purchase them at the corner gift counter & perhaps have lunch at the Kashiwaya Café, they certainly wiped up very good meals there.
So if you’re a person who loves nature, slow pacing & serene environment, this would be an ideal place to stay. If I get a chance to visit to Tokyo again, I would love to do it all over again; Kashiwaya Ryokan has a place in my heart.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Kashiwaya Ryokan is a small traditional Japanese hotel with hot-springs(Onsen) in Shima Onsen resort. We are only 3hours away from Tokyo. If you'l like to stay good and old Japan, This is your place. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan Gunma, Japan - Nakanojo-Machi