Enjoy the comfort

and hospitality of a traditional Japanese inn at Fudouguchikan.

Soak in the Beloved Natural Springs of Inunakiyama Onsen

Hot spring (onsen) resorts are a favorite pastime for many Japanese residents. Japan is a country with a lot of volcanic activity, and has many naturally occurring hot springs. It is unclear when the culture surrounding onsen started, but it is described in one of the oldest texts in Japan called the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), which is over 1,300 years old.

Fudouguchikan – From Shop to Lodging

There is nothing better than the traditional rooms of a hot spring inn!

Nestled in the countryside of Inunakiyama Onsen, Fudouguchikan has been welcoming guests to their business since 1932. The current owner, Chiaki Kawahara, is the third generation of her family to run the inn, and her son is currently training to become the fourth generation owner.

 

When it initially opened in 1932, the business started as a tea house where visitors could rest and relax. Regular customers had started to request different services from the owner, such as adding food to the menu and providing accommodation for the night. Keen to please their customers, requests were regularly met, and eventually the business shifted towards establishing a traditional inn (ryokan) in 1955.

A room equipped with a rotenburo open-air bath.

The ryokan has recently completed renovations but still maintains Japanese-style rooms, complete traditional tatami mats on the floor, and decorations that include ikebana flower arrangements and calligraphy. While all guests have access to the shared onsen baths, some rooms also offer a private outdoor bath (rotenburo) attached to their rooms. These rooms also have the option of twin beds, while other rooms are set in the use of traditional futon bedding.

 

Visitors can experience the true ryokan experience of excellent Japanese hospitality (omotenashi) and delicious local cuisine no matter their background. There is some information about the facility provided in English, Chinese, and Korean.

Locally Sourced Cuisine

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese dining style that features many small, delicious dishes.

Fudouguchikan is committed to providing high quality meals showcasing the best of locally sourced ingredients. They currently employ six staff members to create meals that highlight the fare of Kansai. Some of the ingredients typically used include the famous Senshu eggplants, mizunasu, which can be eaten raw. Rice is sourced from the terraced rice paddy fields of Hinenosho Ogi, currently designated a Japan Heritage site and a stone’s throw away from the ryokan. As the Senshu area is uniquely located in close proximity between the mountains and the sea, fresh seafood is readily accessible and sourced from local fishing ports. Seasonal products are also regularly used, such as onions which are harvested in Senshu during the spring.

 

Dinners are typically served in the customer’s rooms, while breakfast is served in the shared dining area.

The Closest Hot Spring in the World

Enjoy the surrounding natural beauty in the open-air bath.

The water quality of the onsen is a simple sulfur cold mineral spring. The water is characterized by the smell of sulfur, and has good heat retention. Many of the baths are called Bijin-no-Yu; bijin means “beautiful woman,” and yu means “spring.” As such, it is gentle on the skin, and said to have both beautifying and recuperative properties, good for tired or sore muscles. But visitors should be mindful about any accessories they might wear into the bath—the water can have a corrosive effect on metal, and cause it to blacken.

 

The location of the ryokan also offers stunning views of mountains and a running river, from both the private and shared baths. Visitors are able to relax in the onsen while taking in the remarkable atmosphere of the natural surroundings. Located only 30 minutes from Kansai International Airport, they have dubbed themselves the “closest hot spring in the world.” Due to such ease of access, they regularly welcome Japanese tourists coming back from holiday abroad to come for a rejuvenating soak before returning home.

Surrounding Natural Beauty

The picturesque exterior of Fudouguchikan.

Visitors staying at Fudouguchikan are spoiled for natural beauty in the immediate vicinity. A short walk of about 30 minutes takes you to the Japan Heritage Site of Shipporyuji Temple, head of the Inunaki sect of the Shingon school of Buddhism. Located in the sacred mountains of Mt. Inunaki, it offers some stunning views of the temple buildings and waterfalls within the complex. An opportunity to participate in Shugendo religious practices in the mountains, and purify yourself in the waterfalls, is also available on the third Sunday of every month, except December through to February.

 

Several hiking paths are also within easy access from the ryokan, making this an ideal stopping place for those wanting to explore the surrounding mountains.

 

For those keen to explore a little further, Izumisano Gyokyo Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market is 30 minutes away by car, and offers an interesting opportunity to see a local seafood market in operation, and better understand where the seafood in your meals are sourced. Similarly, head to RizuMie Ko-tari-na to visit a local market specializing in locally sourced fruits and vegetables.

 

For information on hands-on tours of Inunakiyama, please make an inquiry to the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

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