Stay at Shinanoki Ichinoyu in Sengokuhara”仙石原 品の木一の湯” , an inn with open-air private natural hotsprings bath
Every time I travel alone, I often go north from Tokyo , but this time I decided to aim for Hakone, the popular hot springs nearby Tokyo, for the first time in a while.
The Kusatsu hot springs I visited before were very nice, so the purpose of this trip was to check out what the hot springs in Hakone were like and to spend some time relaxing.
It’s been about 10 years since I visited Hakone, so I would like to take a walk around Hakone and enjoy sightseeing and gourmet food.
The Covid-19 has finally calmed down, so last year there were quite a few accommodation plans for one person, and I was able to choose as much as I wanted, but recently the circumstances have changed.
When it comes to a one-night stay with two meals on the date you want, and a lodging where you can stay alone, you won’t have many options.
Thanks to that, it was easy to narrow down the accommodation.
I chose an Onsen inn that was a little far from the center of Hakone and seemed to have a reasonably good nature atmosphere and food.
This inn is “Shinanoki Ichinoyu” in Sengokuhara (仙石原 品の木一の湯).
This place has a hotspring in the room, so I can enjoy hot spring anytime I want.
I am looking forward to having a hot spring in the room, too.
From Tokyo Station, it is convenient to take the Hakone Tozan Bus via Odawara Station
When heading to Hakone from Tokyo, the Romancecar (Express Sightseeing train) from Shinjuku comes to mind.
However, it was a bit expensive and I had to go through Shinjuku, so I took the JR train from Tokyo station to Odawara station （JR Tohkaido line, JR東海道本線), and then took the bus from Odawara station to the inn.
For those who want to travel without spending a lot of time and money, it may be convenient to use the Shinkansen (Kodama) or Limited Express Odoriko from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station.
If you use the Shinkansen Kodama and if you have some time, you can apply as a tour at the JR Tokai ticketing window by the day before, I think there was a benefit that one free drink will come with the ticket on the day.
It was quite convenient to use the bus from Odawara station
Arrived at Odawara Station.
You can see Odawara Castle in the distance.
Aim for the bus stop according to the guidance in the station premises.
I didn’t take a picture of the bus stop, but at the bus terminal outside, the bus stops are numbered by destination, so it’s a good idea to take the bus to Togendai, 桃源台. (I think it was platform 4)
If you don’t know, there are uncles and aunties waiting for you, so if you ask, they will tell you right away.
There are many foreign tourists in this area, and I thought it was wonderful that the guides and bus drivers were serving customers in English.
Electronic money such as Suica can be used on the bus.
The car was relatively not crowded.
I’m going to run in the mountains.
Ride for about 40 minutes and get off at the “Tawaraishi/Hakone Garasu no Mori-mae” bus stop or the “Shinanoki/Hakone Highland Hotel” bus stop.
The price is 1,120 yen per adult.
I got off at the Tawaraishi/Hakone Garasu no Mori Mae bus stop.
The inn was right next to the Hakone Garasunomori Museum (Glass museum).
As soon as I entered the side street near the bus stop, I saw the signboard of the inn.
Check-in at Sengokuhara Shinanoki Ichinoyu
We arrived at the lodge just before 3pm.
There seems to be an annex across the road from the main building where the reception is located.
First, check in at the main reception.
The reception was small, but there was a souvenir corner and a free drink service on the side.
Canned beer, juice and water were provided.
After checking in, I got the key and a map of the hotel, and got juice and water.
You can get all the amenities you need here.
This time I will be staying at the villa.
Go through the beautiful gate.
There are several buildings, and I am on the second floor at the back.
It’s stairs, so if you have trouble walking, it’s better to tell them when you check in that the stairs are difficult and get a room on the first floor.
There are rooms in the main building, but I think I had to climb the stairs to the second floor.
The dining hall was divided into the main building and the villa, and one of the buildings of the villa was the dining hall.
The garden was very well maintained, and although I stayed in July, the hydrangeas were still blooming.
Well, here is my room.
The appearance is a modern construction like one room of a condominium.
When you enter, you will see a Japanese-Western style room that is completely different from the exterior.
Two sofas are installed in the lower position.
It’s nice to sit in a tatami room, but sitting on the sofa and feeling the breeze outside is also nice.
And there was also an open-air bath that the inn was proud of.
This is a picture I took at night, but when I went to the room after checking in, the hot water was already set up, so I could enter the hot spring anytime.
I was sweating a lot from the move, so I immediately went to the hot springs and drank the juice that was given to me at the reception after the bath and had a relaxing time.
This room is a bit far from the reception, so I’m glad I secured a drink.
It was quite hot during the day with the temperature around 34 degrees, but when I arrived at the inn and relaxed until dinner, the temperature was around 28 or 29 degrees. There was no problem.
I could hear the chirping of Higurashi outside, and it was very comfortable.
Dinner will be served at the dinner hall
Well, it’s dinner time, so I’m heading to the dinner hall.
I think dinner started at 17:45.
The seats at the dinner venue have already been decided, so I sat down at the seat of my room number and ordered a drink.
Other guests have already started eating, and there were many people who came on a family trip with about 3 households and foreign tourists.
After all, Hakone is popular with foreign tourists.
Here’s what dinner looks like.
Small bowls of appetizers are served on the table.
Meat for shabu-shabu is also here.
It seems that beef and pork shabu-shabu are prepared.
Yonezawa beef and Kagoshima black pork shabu-shabu will be on the spring/summer menu from March 2023.
Miso butter grilled scallops and shrimp were already prepared, and the person in charge lit the fire.
This alone is quite a volume, but later, a whole red snapper was served.
It may be one per table, but it’s quite a size.
I cannot eat all by myself.
The seasoning was delicious, but I’m sorry that I couldn’t eat it all.
Some of the wait staff were Japanese, but there were also foreign staff who could speak Japanese, and perhaps these people could also speak English.
It was impressive that some of the staff had just joined the company, and that they were working hard to follow the senior staff.
I was completely full, but dessert is another belly.
At the end of the meal, I had dessert brought, and today’s dinner is over.
It seems that the dinner was all-you-can-drink alcohol.
The other seats were refilling beer and wine.
Feeling morning air of Hakone
Last night, after dinner, I went back to the open-air bath in my room and fell asleep.
I woke up early in the morning, so after taking a bath, I took a short walk around the inn.
There were a few private houses around the inn, but there were few people walking around and there were some buildings that looked like villas.
I am grateful that I can feel this much green just by moving a little from Tokyo.
It was refreshing.
Breakfast will be served at the same venue as yesterday.
Breakfast time was a little late and started at 7:40.
Appetizers were already prepared on the table, just like yesterday.
Rice and ohitsu are prepared, so you can eat as much as you like.
As a miso soup lover, I am grateful that the miso soup is warmed up in a pot.
The appetizer menu is also carefully explained.
Eggs are hot spring eggs (half boild egg) and break eggs on a plate prepared aside.
You put a bit of soy sauce and eat it.
The staff will prepare the cooked horse mackerel as soon as you arrive at the table.
This is steamed chicken and bean sprouts.
You can eat hot in about 10 minutes after turning on the fire.
It’s nice to be able to eat hot food while it’s still hot.
Breakfast was eaten up in no time.
I got hot coffee and ate it with dessert pudding.
It was delicious.
I also tried the large public bath and open-air bath.
The large public bath and open-air bath are located on the second floor of the main building.
There are also coin lockers for valuables.
The women’s bath is locked, so security is safe.
Only women can unlock it.
You can’t take pictures inside, so please refer to the inn’s website, but there is an indoor bath and an open-air bath.
The public bath was not crowded at all, probably because there are many rooms with hot springs.
In the open-air bath, you can soak in the hot spring while looking at the green of the trees and the blue of the sky while feeling the comfortable breeze.
The hot spring in the room was colorless and transparent.
I think it’s for hygiene reasons, but the water in the open-air bath seemed slightly cloudy, and the water was smooth.
(As I learned later, according to the website, the open-air bath uses sulfur springs from Ohwakudani.)
Personally, I prefer hot water in this open-air bath.
I’m glad I tried both hot waters.
Impressions of Staying at Sengokuhara Shinanoki Ichinoyu
It was the perfect location to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and soak in the hot springs.
It doesn’t feel like a pure Japanese-style hot spring inn, but I thought it was enough because it was modern and beautifully maintained.
I was also surprised by the number of foreign tourists visiting.
Many of the rooms have hot springs attached, so it may have been an easy-to-use inn for foreign tourists who don’t have the habit of bathing naked with other people.
The sound of Higurashi’s cries coming from outside was very summer-like, and there was a sense of emotion.
The temperature was not too high, and I was able to spend the night without an air conditioner, so it was a good escape from the heat.
It’s a good inn, but when I dared to compare it with other inns, I was a little disappointed that the seasoning of the small bowls for dinner and breakfast was not out of the range of a side dish shop, and I was impressed when I took a bite. There weren’t many.
The meat was very delicious, so I think it depends on the product.
According to the website, it seems that it will be renewed in March 2023, and the room and the hall were indeed very clean.
It’s nice to be able to use it according to your purpose, such as a colorful room suitable for traveling with children or girls, or a spacious room with a hot spring.
When I was passing through Hakone by bus, there was another inn with a sign saying Ichinoyu. It seems that you can also enjoy visiting the hot springs in the inn where you can stay and within the group.
Depending on the time of year and the type of room, you can stay from around 10,000 yen (About 85 USD per person!).
Shinanoki Ichinoyu 品の木一の湯
TEL(Country Code +81)：0460-85-2244
Access：When using public transportation, it is convenient to take the Hakone Tozan Bus and get off at the “Tawaraishi/Hakone Garasu no Mori-mae” bus stop or the “Shinanoki/Hakone Highland Hotel” bus stop.