[Hotel Review] Niigata Iwamuro Onsen - Hotel Ohashi Yakatanoyu - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, April 24, 2017

[Hotel Review] Niigata Iwamuro Onsen - Hotel Ohashi Yakatanoyu

Iwamuro Onsen is an area situated in the Nishikanbara District of Niigata Prefecture, and is most known for its hot spring water said to have healing abilities. With the proximity to the power spot Yahiko Shrine this area became popular among visitors going to pray in Yahiko back around 300 years to the days of Edo. In Iwamuro Onsen you can find a number of traditional ryokan hotels ready to show you the best of Japanese omotenashi hospitality. 

One of the popular ryokan resorts in the area is Hotel Ohashi Yakatanoyu. This is an upscale hot spring hotel located in Buddhist temple-style building with a castle-like exterior, and from the inside of the building you can enjoy the wood interiors, a cafe offering a beautiful view of the Japanese garden and minimalist rooms with tatami floors.
Above: 政府登録国際観光旅館
The hotel is situated approximately 10 minutes by car from Iwamuro Station. Parking is complimentary at the hotel, and for those who have the ability to rent a car I would strongly recommend taking the shinkansen or bus to Tsubame Sanjo Station and drive from there. The drive takes around 30 min, and it is possible to stop by other sightseeing destinations in the area on the way, such as for instance the mentioned Yahiko Shrine or one of the local sake breweries.
After the check-in was completed it was time to check out our guest rooms. We had gotten two rooms on the 3rd floor in the part of the hotel that went under the name "Asagiri no Yakata" (The Morning Fog Mansion).

Guest Room - Japanese Style Room

The ryokan hotel has 52 guest rooms in Japanese washitsu style, so a night here will grant you the chance to sleep on a futon on the tatami-mat. The rooms come in different sizes, and in our case we were traveling as a bigger group and thus got two of the bigger rooms in the ryokan hotel that also included seating area.

The rooms at the ryokan hotel come beautiful nature view where you can see the surrounding mountains. In our case we got extra lucky and could enjoy the view of both the courtyard and nature from our room.
It is common for ryokan hotels to have their staff make your bed while you're having dinner. When we came back to our room the futon bed was already prepared for us.

Room Amenities

The ryokan has a long history, which can be seen in some of the room amenities. In a sense it was like traveling back in time, but then again that is also a part of the charm of traditional ryokan. Still the rooms offered all the basic amenities we would need, and with free access to the ryokan hotel's hot spring facilities we didn't really feel that anything was lacking.
Below: Tea set with a kettle to the left, and a complimentary manjuu (steamed yeast bun) for each guest to the right.
Our room also came equipped with a small safe, and a refrigerator filled with a large variety of drinks. This is without a doubt the largest selection of drinks I've ever seen in a ryokan fridge..!
Another thing that can be mentioned is that as common in Japanese ryokan you get a yukata bathrobe to wear during your stay. At Hotel Ohashi you get to choose your own size and color (although with the selection of sizes for the pink and green yukatas I suppose they are supposed to represent different genders)

Facilities - Common Area

In the common area of the ryokan we could enjoy a nice view of their Japanese garden, all with soothing music playing in the background. We had a cup of coffee while waiting for the dinner time. Below are some more photos of the common area:
Hot Spring Onsen Bath
At the ryokan we could enjoy both indoor and outdoor onsen with natural hot spring water. According to the hotel their outdoor onsen - rotenburo - is supposed to be one of the largest in Niigata.

Above photo has been taken from hotel page
One of the really unique experiences we could try at the ryokan was their ganbanyoku - 岩盤浴 - a hot stone spa / sauna where one can rest on heated natural rocks. Heated by the hot spring water floating underneath the ganbanyoku is also said to come with a number of health benefits. Either way you are guaranteed to sweat a lot!
Above photo has been taken from hotel page
We took 3 rounds staying inside the ganbanyoku for 8-10 minutes with small breaks in between and were all soaked wet (luckily they provide you with robes designated for the hot stone spa so no need to get sweaty in your normal clothes). Access to the ganbanyoku is not included in the stay, so please ask at the reception if you are interested in trying it out.

The hotel has five different restaurants/dining halls available for guests. We got our dinner served in a private room, but if you haven't booked dinner included in your stay it is also possible to eat at the hotel's 24/7 ramen restaurant.!
Above: The restaurant street on the second floor has a number of private dining rooms.
Above: Our private dining room
Below: Kaiseki dinner with shabu-shabu, sashimi and other local delicacies.

The breakfast at the hotel was held in one of their big dining halls. Here we had a buffet with a large selection of various Japanese dishes and in addition some types of western style breakfast. The breakfast also included fruit for dessert.

Above: The outside garden seen from a window in the dining area of the ryokan

Hotel Policies
A couple of things to notice about the ryokan is that they have a strict policy against guests with tattoos, so if you have a piece of body art you might not want to use their public hot spring onsen baths. Also, if your stay includes dinner make sure to arrive at the hotel before 18pm as the hotel needs time to time your meal.

Above: Sakura in bloom right outside the hotel

That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed the post! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments in the comment section below. Thank you!

This page contains affiliate links, and if you follow a link and make a hotel reservation through these links you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!

Basic Info

Name of Hotel: Hotel Ohashi Yakatanoyu
Star Rating: 3 ★★★
Address: 340 Iwamuroonsen, Nishikan Ward, Niigata, Niigata Prefecture 953-0104
Access A 10-minute drive from JR Iwamuro Station
Check in: Check In From 14PM
Check Out Until 11AM

Related blogposts

Author Image

About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

  • 0Disqus Comment
  • Facebook Comment

Leave your comment

Post a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
・Read more →

Recent Posts


Random Posts