Thursday, December 29, 2016

[Hotel Review] Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan (草津温泉日新館)

Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan is a small family ryokan with only 12 rooms situated one minutes walk away from the yubatake (湯畑) in the center of Kusatsu. Nisshinkan is the oldest ryokan in Kusatsu, and was built more than 300 years ago in the Edo period. Right next to the ryokan you can find one of the 3 free public baths in Kusatsu. During my recent trip to Kusatsu I had the pleasure of spending a night at the ryokan, and below is some of my pictures and thoughts about the stay.

Rooms
Since we were traveling as a big group (6 guys and 4 girls) we had reserved their biggest Japanese style rooms. As we were a total of 10 travellers we booked 2 of their "Japan Style for 5 people" rooms, but although the room name stated it was for 5 people the ryokan kindly let us have an extra madras for the guys' room.

Usually they make your bed during dinner time, but for this time we had only ordered breakfast at the ryokan so when we checked in our beds had already been prepared.

Room 1:
Entrance area of the room
Towels and yukata bathrobes provided in the room
We stayed in room number 8. Here is the room key and some wagashi (Japanese snack) we were provided for free in the room.

Room 2:
Hard to tell from the picture but you could see the yubatake from the window of the room
A fun evening with card games at the room dressed in the yukata provided by the ryokan

Hot Spring Bath - Onsen
Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan takes great pride in its hot spring bath, and the location makes the ryokan the first place where the hot spring water from the center of Kusatsu reaches when it floats out of the yubatake. The water in the baths here is said to have a number of health benefits, and is supposed to help against chronic skin diseases, arterial sclerosis, incised wound and burn injuries among others.

The hot spring at Nisshinkan is open 24/7, and because of the small number of guests who can stay at the ryokan at the same time you are very likely to be able to have the hot spring all by yourself!
The entrance to the hot spring: Women to the left and men to the right



Breakfast
We had a healthy and delicious Japanese style breakfast at the ryokan. Although the portions seem small at first you'll find yourself full before you know it. The ryokan also offers free seconds for the rice and the miso-soup.


To sum up, here are some bullet points about the hotel:
Plus:
  • Large rooms. Whether you travel alone or with a group you can enjoy the spacious rooms.
  • The proximity to everything in Kusatsu Onsen. You almost can't find a better location.
  • Interesting history and atmosphere. As the oldest ryokan in Kusatsu you can get the authentic ryokan experience here.
  • Hospitality: Japanese ryokan are famous for their omotenashi hospitality, and you can experience this at Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan with the friendly staff ready to help you.
  • The hot spring baths. The ryokan is situated right below the yubatake and is the closest place for the hot water flowing down from hot spring center. Open 24/7.
  • Breakfast: Healthy Japanese style breakfast with free seconds for rice and miso-soup.
  • Parking: The ryokan let us leave our car at their parking lot for a couple of hours after check-out, which enabled us to explore more of Kusatsu without having to stress with parking.
Minus:
  • Early check-out: We had to check out already by 10:00
  • Unfortunately there was no outdoor hot spring for women; there is one rotenburo at the hot spring of the ryokan but it is situated in the men's area.
All in all Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan was a very nice place to stay! My biggest advice to people interested in spending a night here would be to book early as their 12 rooms get booked fast!


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Basic Info

Name of Hotel: Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan (草津温泉 日新館)
Star Rating: ★★★
Map
Location 1 minute walk from the yubatake in the center of Kusatsu
Check in: Check In From 1PM
Check Out Until 10AM

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About Me

The Cosmopolitan Expat:
The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff. Stricken by 職業病 I also write about hotels and share updates about new opening hotels and/or time sales in the Kanto region.

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