Kijitei Hoeiso is a wonderful traditional Japanese hotel in Hakone, surrounded by beautiful mountains and nature.
I had a fantastic time here during my last trip across Japan, and now I want to share my experiences with you.
When planning a trip to Japan, I am sure that most of you will include the big and famous cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. While they are truly spectacular places to visit, and you could spend weeks in each one without seeing it all, no trip to Japan can be completed without experiencing the beauty and serenity of Japan’s nature. And the ideal part of Japan for this is the Hakone area.
Famous for its hot springs and rich in beauty and history, it is a perfect getaway from the rush of Tokyo. The best possible way to experience it is by spending a few days in a traditional ryokan.
Surrounded by nature, you can relax in tranquil hot baths, enjoy delicious local dishes, and soak up the atmosphere of traditional Japan. If this is something that you would like, I have just the place for you – Kijitei Hoeiso!
Kijitei Hoeiso in Hakone is a quiet and peaceful Japanese ryokan, surrounded by beautiful mountains and lush green nature. It is an ideal place to relax and allow the tranquility of the surroundings to soothe your body and soul. Escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Listen to the sounds of nature and enjoy a traditional Japanese lodging experience. If you choose this place as your accommodation during your visit to Japan, you will not regret it!
Hakone was the first stop on my trip across Japan after I left Tokyo. I was really excited to come back to one of my favorite parts of the country. I’ve been here several times before and seen many things it offers. But still, I had yet to visit this well-known ryokan, so I was really excited to come here.
Because of this, I spent just a little time sightseeing and headed straight to the hotel as soon as check-in was possible. I took a bus from the Hakone-Yumoto Station, and it was only about 10 minutes before I found myself at the bus stop directly in front of the ryokan. When I got there, I was kindly greeted by the staff, who helped me with my luggage and provided me with slippers to wear, and handled my check-in procedure.
I sat next to a large table looking through the window at the valley and enjoyed some tea and refreshments while the procedure was completed. It was truly a spectacular sight. You see, Kijitei Hoeiso is not like the usual hotel. Rather it’s composed of multiple buildings and feels like you’re staying in a very large mansion.
There are several floors that are connected by staircases and elevators, and the ryokan itself is built on a slope slowly descending from the top to the bottom of the valley. I really loved the look and the feel of the place. Especially later, I enjoyed wandering across it and exploring its every corner.
If you want to stay at a place linked to the nature around it, you will love the guest rooms at Hoeiso. They are surrounded by lush greenery and offer a traditional Japanese experience that can help you connect with the times gone by.
Staying in the mountains allows one to forget about time itself as you gaze out upon the clouds drifting by above the ravine and forest. This is truly a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and resets your body and soul. Rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring with traditional futon bedding.
Air conditioning and heating facilities are located in every room. Each room comes equipped with a flat-screen TV and a fridge. The rooms come equipped with everything you need, such as a robe (Japanese summer cotton kimono/ yukata), bath towel, face towel, and many toiletries.
My room was such a large traditional Japanese room. It contained everything I would expect from an upscale ryokan like this one. The highlight of the room was definitely the spectacular view of the valley below, as well as the forested hills and mountains around.
Fans of hot spring baths will love Hakone because it is famous for its hot springs. Moreover, the water at Kijitei Hoeiso has the highest levels of alkalinity in the Hakone area. Consequently, this makes it very good for your skin. You can enjoy three types of baths at this ryokan. The first one is the open-air bath.
Located beside a clear stream and enveloped by the mountains of the Hakone-Yumoto area, it feels like a mythical paradise. Here you will soak leisurely in the soothing waters while listening to the chirping of birds. Also, you will enjoy beautiful mountain views that showcase the changing colors of the four seasons.
One more bath is the Grand Public Bath, located inside the hotel building. Both this and the outdoor bath have separate male and female facilities. Also, there are In-Room Baths which you can enjoy in the privacy of your room. Their hot water is sourced directly from the main Onsen Hot Spring. In addition, the wood chips cut from local Hakone trees are used as a biomass fuel source. They are used for heating both the hot water supply and the hot-spring bathing water.
I got the chance to experience both indoor and outdoor baths several times. Those of you who’ve been following me know that I love to spend time in an onsen. Both in the morning and in the evening after dinner and sightseeing.
The indoor bath is quite large, with enough room for plenty of people. I could really feel the quality of the water.
I especially enjoyed the relaxation room, which is located next to the indoor baths. I went there after finishing the bath and just laid there listening to some music and drinking cold spring water.
The outer bath was definitely an experience I highly recommend to anyone who comes here. As I said, it’s located right next to the river at the bottom of the valley. And you really feel that you’re in a special place. You can book a specific time for it to be available to you.
So you would need to go to the lobby and ask to reserve a time. You will be given a small wooden block that indicates the time when you are allowed to enter this special bath.
When you get to the bath, you will hang the wooden block at the bath entrance and will have about half an hour to enjoy the bath.
It’s a really small but lovely place; only a couple of people can fit inside. But the experience you have relaxing there is second to none. You feel as if you’re somewhere in the middle of a mysterious forest. I went there late at night. It was just slightly raining, and it felt amazing.
A relaxing day cannot be complete without a delicious dinner. Luckily, the food here is as exquisite as the hot spring. They serve their famous pheasant meat that is both tasty and mild.
This is a healthy meat that is lean, hearty, and rich in protein and amino acids. The broth from the pheasant meat is also very mild and tasty. Since their ryokan’s inception, they have raised around 3,000 pheasants on the grounds of our property.
Of course, there are many other types of dishes that can be prepared for you from fresh local ingredients. Breakfast is available to you to help you prepare for a day of sightseeing!
I had the pleasure of experiencing both the breakfast and the dinner here, and both were spectacular. The staff member who served dinner was really nice and kind and explained everything we needed to know about the food. He also spoke perfect English, and there was no trouble communicating.
The ryokan is the famed stand-alone guest cottage that has been converted from a traditional Japanese farmhouse. Several decades ago, the current owner’s grandfather brought this traditional farmhouse from another part of Japan.
It was the original centerpiece of the ryokan, and over time it has been converted and renovated but still kept its traditional charm. Today it’s used as a space where every guest of the hotel can come to relax and have some drinks whenever they feel like it.
One thing I really enjoyed about the hotel was its beautiful garden which you pass as you descend down to the valley floor.
It has been beautifully designed and has many interesting sections.
Additionally, next to the garden, there is a platform slightly raised above the river with a couple of chairs so you can go there to just sit and relax next to the river and enjoy the view.
The location of the ryokan is exceptional. It feels like it is located in a hidden valley. However, a bus often comes to the station that’s right in front of the hotel, and you only have to drive about 10 minutes to reach the Hakone-Yumoto station.
You also have the option of walking downhill there, which takes about 25 minutes. I did just that and had a lot of fun walking down the valley on foot and exploring the town. There are many interesting things to see there, such as a beautiful waterfall and several interesting restaurants. All in all, there are things to see right around the hotel.
If you head out a little bit further by bus, You can quickly reach lake Ashi with all of its attractions, such as the Hakone Shrine, Hakone Tokaido Checkpoint, Onshi Hakone Park, and the segment of the old Tokaido Road, which runs down the valley. I had a lot of fun exploring this part. Especially the Tokaido Road, on which I walked using traditional shoes called Michi-naka.
As you can see, they look quite goofy as they cover less than half of my foot. I have to say they are a bit uncomfortable since I guess they’re made of raw straw. However, where these shoes excel is their grip, which is second to none. These traditional shoes have a better grip than my modern shoes.
It was raining then, and I was walking across slippery stones, but there was no way I could slip. Make sure to ask staff members of the hotel if they can provide you with these types of shoes.
Also, there is an interesting place called the Amazake-chaya Tea House which was founded 400 years ago and to this day still serves travelers on the old Tokaido road.
The ryokan is easily accessible from either JR Mishima Station (by 2 buses) or JR Odawara station (by train and bus).
All in all, I have only the best things to say about my stay at Kijitei Hoeiso. It is a great place to visit if you’re not planning on going too far away from Tokyo but still want to experience nature and the rural lifestyle, especially if you’re looking for a ryokan experience. I highly recommend you check out their website to learn more.