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Seeking traditional ryokan in Hakone

Seeking traditional ryokan in Hakone

Old Oct 12, 19, 1:36 am
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Question Seeking traditional ryokan in Hakone

In November 2002, my first trip to Japan. We stayed in a wonderful traditional onsen ryokan somewhere in Hakone.
For all reasons, I cannot remember the name. We are planning to go back to Japan this December after 17 years and hope to visit again.
That was before the convenience of internet widely available. After a few move, I have no record of the trip and the photos are somewhere in the storage boxes.
No records of the flight reservation I could find in my emails. It was NWA SFO - NRT business class award tickets. I think it was a 747. It was a 3 classes configuration. But first class was just discontinue not too long ago, we were lucky enough to sit in the old first class seats in the nose. Thatís some experience I wouldnít forget. And they served hot sake on the flight.
I remember faxed the hotel reservation over and then later asked someone who speaks Japanese to call international to confirm the reservation.
One thing very special about this ryokan is it has its own incline tram, That takes the guests down the hills to the hotel comfortably.
The hotel is located at lower ground by a creak. In addition to the main building, it also has a few separate bungalows. The rooms have toilets and private hot spring bath.
There is also a public bath looking out to the snow covered creak in the main building. It is really a post card scene of red maple leaves, white snow covered creak bank, and misty hot spring running through.
An old lady in traditional Japanese dress who spoke no English severed dinner in our room and later made the room for sleeping on the tatami.
I forgot the breakfast was served in the room or the main hall(probably main hall.) I did remember it had house made egg-tofu. The first time I ever had that, so silky I remembered.

I remember took the train from Tokyo and then transferred to another short train ride, then walked a few minutes to arrive at the incline tram.

I have checked many hotel booking sites, travel sites and havenít found it. Maybe they no longer used the tram or the hotel has changed name.
If I remembered it correctly its name has 3 kanji characters.

itís probably a long shot, I am hoping the wisdom of the flyertalk would come through. Someone would know what ryokan I am seeking.
Thank you for reading.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 2:39 am
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I have to ask this, but is it possible that the details are so hazy because you never stepped foot there and can only dimly recollect photos you once saw on the internet?

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTo...car-Japan.html

The writing style as well as posting and travel patterns of the OP in that thread are very evocative of your own.

I went to Japan for the first time in 2002 and stayed in an inn in Hakone also. Since it is where I fell in love with my now husband I have been back since, so have some familiarity with the area. Looked through a map and cannot see anything that matches your description. Don’t mind looking as it has obviously stayed alive in your mind all this time, but it would be helpful to know how this ryokan came to actually occupy your thoughts. If you look at the link I posted, you should understand why I’m not convinced you ever actually stayed there.

Egg tofu can be used to describe chawanmushi - hard to imagine a ryokan or inn that doesn’t serve it.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 8:02 am
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It is possible that you are talking about Japanese ryokan (Japanese inn) at Hakone called Taiseikan (対星館). There is a personal website (website is in Japanese but there are pictures) showing the cable care which used to be at Taiseikan.

Due to age of this cable car, on May 2009 the inn replaced this cable car with small monorail looking people mover.

Unfortunate news for you is that Taiseikan has closed on August 2013. which is not mentioned on their English website. Japanese website of Taiseikan has short comment indicating Taiseikan will re-open after the renovation. In Japanese internet sites there have been few inquiry as to update of the renovation of Taiseikan, if there is specific date of renewal opening. However, there seems to be no update of Taiseikan. It has been six years since Taiseikan has closed and some are wondering it Taiseikan will ever reopen.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
I have to ask this, but is it possible that the details are so hazy because you never stepped foot there and can only dimly recollect photos you once saw on the internet?

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTo...car-Japan.html

The writing style as well as posting and travel patterns of the OP in that thread are very evocative of your own.

I went to Japan for the first time in 2002 and stayed in an inn in Hakone also. Since it is where I fell in love with my now husband I have been back since, so have some familiarity with the area. Looked through a map and cannot see anything that matches your description. Donít mind looking as it has obviously stayed alive in your mind all this time, but it would be helpful to know how this ryokan came to actually occupy your thoughts. If you look at the link I posted, you should understand why Iím not convinced you ever actually stayed there.

Egg tofu can be used to describe chawanmushi - hard to imagine a ryokan or inn that doesnít serve it.
Sometimes I wonder if I was really there, too. But my travel companion confirmed we were there. And the person called for the hotel confirmation also remembered making the call.
Unfortunately their memories are worse than mine.
One thing funny happened on the trip was we ran out of Japanese cash, and not many the places took credit cards at the time.
We couldn't find a place to exchange currency because it was a weekend.
We had about 20 US dollars equivalent left and trying to find a place for early dinner the second day after pirate ship.
There were other fragments of memory of the trip such as the black onsen eggs on top of the mountain, but I won't bore your with those.
BTW, the egg tofu is 玉子豆腐 not chawanmushi. It is served cold. Sounds like you haven't had it yet, I highly recommend it.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
It is possible that you are talking about Japanese ryokan (Japanese inn) at Hakone called Taiseikan (対星館). There is a personal website (website is in Japanese but there are pictures) showing the cable care which used to be at Taiseikan.

Due to age of this cable car, on May 2009 the inn replaced this cable car with small monorail looking people mover.

Unfortunate news for you is that Taiseikan has closed on August 2013. which is not mentioned on their English website. Japanese website of Taiseikan has short comment indicating Taiseikan will re-open after the renovation. In Japanese internet sites there have been few inquiry as to update of the renovation of Taiseikan, if there is specific date of renewal opening. However, there seems to be no update of Taiseikan. It has been six years since Taiseikan has closed and some are wondering it Taiseikan will ever reopen.
YES. This is it. I didn't make it up on my own memory. Thank you so much.
Too bad, they are closed for renovation.
I hope it doesn't take another 17 years for me to go back to Japan again.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 4:22 pm
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OP: When I read your post, I instantly thought you were talking about Yamatoya Hotel. I was there a long time ago. It's in Miyanoshita, down by the river, you get there by ropeway (called tramway in US) although you could also walk down there. Very nice onsen, but I seem to recall that the ryokan was dated. I just tried to look them up and it appears they have since closed down.

I saw Alwaysaisle's place... I've never stayed there but, having looked at his link, I now remember seeing that cablecar. It's actually very close to Yamatoya. Too bad both places are now closed. But Hakone has so many great places.
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Old Oct 13, 19, 1:08 am
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In case google leads someone looking for a ryokan with a tram/cable car to this thread, I saw a currently open one in Shikoku which has a tram down to the onsen https://www.iyaonsen.co.jp/en/spa/#sectionheader

Ropeways are pretty popular in Japan so there could be a ryokan with a hanging cable car. I just don't know of one off the top of my head if I don't count the lodgings around Tateyama Ropeway along the Kurobe Alpine pass but that's not specific to the lodgings. Perhaps one connected to a ski resort?
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Last edited by freecia; Oct 13, 19 at 1:15 am
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Old Oct 13, 19, 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
It is possible that you are talking about Japanese ryokan (Japanese inn) at Hakone called Taiseikan (対星館). There is a personal website (website is in Japanese but there are pictures) showing the cable care which used to be at Taiseikan.

Due to age of this cable car, on May 2009 the inn replaced this cable car with small monorail looking people mover.

Unfortunate news for you is that Taiseikan has closed on August 2013. which is not mentioned on their English website. Japanese website of Taiseikan has short comment indicating Taiseikan will re-open after the renovation. In Japanese internet sites there have been few inquiry as to update of the renovation of Taiseikan, if there is specific date of renewal opening. However, there seems to be no update of Taiseikan. It has been six years since Taiseikan has closed and some are wondering it Taiseikan will ever reopen.
This is it. Thank you so much for the information.
Too bad they are closed now.
Looks like I will have to explore other possibilities.
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Old Oct 13, 19, 5:38 am
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Hakone has fallen on hard times since 2002 (multiple times), so it's quite possible that the place you're thinking of is no longer in business.
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Old Oct 14, 19, 1:55 pm
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One more try to post thanks for all the replies.
@AlwaysAisle, Yes. This is the hotel I stayed. Thank you for the post. Too bad, it's closed now. I will explore other possibilities.
@LapLap, egg-tofu is not chawamushi, although very similar. I recommend you try it if you haven't yet.

Not sure if this will get through moderator.
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Old Oct 14, 19, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by iepiat View Post
@LapLap, egg-tofu is not chawamushi, although very similar. I recommend you try it if you haven't yet.
I know tamagodofu. Seems a bit odd to think of having it surrounded by red maple leaves and a snow covered creek as it is a chilled dish.

If you make egg tofu in a tea cup, add a few more ingredients and serve it warm it is chawanmushi.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 8:01 pm
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Summary of last couple posts - OP was looking for a ryokan he stayed several years back, which has since closed.

I have never stayed in a ryokan, but can imagine how it is based on various Japanese dramas I have seen. That's why I'm leaning on staying in something more traditional than another Western-style hotel.

Can anyone recommend a traditional ryokan in Hakone?
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Old Jan 5, 20, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by eethan View Post
Summary of last couple posts - OP was looking for a ryokan he stayed several years back, which has since closed.

I have never stayed in a ryokan, but can imagine how it is based on various Japanese dramas I have seen. That's why I'm leaning on staying in something more traditional than another Western-style hotel.

Can anyone recommend a traditional ryokan in Hakone?
I just posted on another thread

Hakone - 1 or 2 nights?

our experience with 2 nights at Gora Hanaougi about 2.5 years ago. It was amazing.

And per this thread and the "tram" question, it turned out that there was a rear entrance that did have a sort of diagonal elevator that would take one down from or back up to one of the public transportation stops. The main entrance, where one could be dropped off by car, did not need that, so we didn't even notice it at first.

But this was higher up, with lovely views across a huge valley.

The various ways that transportation in those hills - and also those near Mount Koya and the Buddhist Monasteries - were managed were very interesting, from fixed incline cable cars (like SF, not hanging) with each row on it's own level (and some *very* steep), to little switchbacks that zig-zagged back and forth up and down, and the conductor/engineer would get out and physically throw the switch to allow the car to take the "next" diagonal. And then there were the hanging ropeways, of course.

GC
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