Best Spa Gardens: Hakone-Ginyu


Best Spa Gardens: Hakone-Ginyu

December 2, 2010
Photo by: Blancaneaux Lodge

This gracious five-story ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, fed by onsen, or hot springs, in the mountains southwest of Tokyo was recently renovated and today is run by the fourth generation of the family that established the business in 1951. Three public baths encourage gathering with other guests before tea and meals. Two baths with saunas are perched on the top floor, while the ground-floor Matsukaze bath opens to a quiet still life: a garden lined with local boulders, and camellias, ornamental cherries and dogwoods that explode with blossoms from spring through early summer. Each of the 20 private rooms — most with tatami floors for sleeping and dining rather than Western-style accommodations — features an outdoor onsen bath with a postcard view of a tree-covered gorge.

Try this: Spring for the Ginyu-Spa Original Oil Massage and, depending on the season, take in the mist- or snow-shrouded mountains. In the fourth-floor spa or your room, this rubdown with the aromatic oils of French lavender and Roman chamomile is pampering at its most divine.

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