It is a small accommodation that has more than 800 years of history. It also features a traditional landscaped garden and is surrounded by trees and sounds coming from its tranquil environment.
The ryokan continues to operate even today, but due to the Coronavirus, guests who intend to travel are encouraged to take precautionary measures for their safety.
The rooms of Araya Totoan are based on traditional Japanese design and feature a relaxing ambiance. They have a total of 18 rooms, which cost around 25,000 to 80,000 JPY per night, with some including a terrace where guests can view the charming garden. They also have available hot springs where guests can take a dip and relax in the warmth of the water.
Communal baths at Araya Totoan are its main spotlight, especially their own “Ruriko”, which is a cypress bath flowing with scents and enhanced by a wooden ceiling. The inn gets its hot spring source from Yamashiro, bringing benefits that ease back pain, skin irritations and problems, and other weak conditions a person might have.
The ryokan features its Kutaniyaki Kiln Pavilion, which shows an incredible display of pottery exhibitions and opportunities to learn how to make one. The location of Araya Totoan is near to other public baths in the town like the Meiji-style and Edo-style public baths.
After taking a dip, guests can go back to the inn to enjoy meals made with local Japanese pride. The ryokan can be reached by train coming from Tokyo and Kyoto.
Japanese ryokan food, dinner and breakfast – a ryokan providing local foodstuff
Local seafood from Hashitate Harbor. Famous local Kaga vegetables. Dishes are served on famous Japanese pottery “Kaga-yaki” and famous Japanese lacquerware “Yamanaka-nuri.”
A ryokan particularly good for health and beauty
This hot spring won first prize at the International Mineral Spring Exhibition held in Germany 100 years ago. It has garnered strong praise even on a global level. The water is good for back pain, neuralgia, skin beautification, etc.
A ryokan appearing in various media
The rooms where the Imperial Family spent an extended stay 100 years ago were renovated and still remain.
“No. 1” ryokan in Japan
Ryokan with a 800 year history. The Imperial Family stayed here about 100 years ago. Also, this ryokan supported the lifestyle of Rosanjin (a famous Japanese style calligraphy artist, ceramics artist, painter, and connoisseur) for about one year.
Traditional ryokan – historical architecture
Ryokan with a 800 year history. Japanese architecture of the annex where the Imperial Family stayed some 100 years ago has been renovated and still remains today. Also, this ryokan supported the lifestyle of Rosanjin (a famous Japanese style calligraphy artist, ceramics artist, painter, and connoisseur) for about one year.
Year of establishment
Rooms with open-air baths
Is this place ryokan only or ryokan with an onsen?
Does this ryokan have private onsen (hot spring)?
Is there a communal shared public bath?
Are there additional rental options?
With open-air tubs 0 With indoor tubs 0 With both indoor and outdoor tubs 0
Price range (yen)
The price includes one dinner and one breakfast
Total rating: 4.5
Historic Kaga-style luxury ryokan
We were after the most traditional luxury ryokan experience we could find in Ishikawa prefecture. The prerequisite was that it be aimed predominantly at Japanese clients (why bother coming to Japan if you’re after an experience for foreigners?).
Araya Totoan did not disappoint.
We had a private bath, but one of the highlights was using the ryokan’s three shared (‘public’) onsen baths. As we stayed on a Monday night, while I can’t be certain whether there weren’t other guests around, we were very lucky to have all three onsen to ourselves.
Two of them had baths set in a Japanese outdoor garden setting. Oh, yes! This is the dream you had of Japan - sitting in the outdoor hot spring by yourself and having a drink float towards you.
Other than the excellent art, which you should read up on and appreciate, the kaiseki meal was excellent. It was comparable to ones at the high-end ryotei in Kanazawa.
Araya Totoan appeared to have the traditional management structure - we met the Okami on arrival and the Waka-Okami at check out.
Our stay started with a tea ceremony - we apologise for our lack of manners as we didn’t learn how to do a Kaga-style ceremony until we had a lesson in Kanazawa a few days later!
One minor issue was that my request for the courtesy shuttle from Kagaonsen station wasn’t picked up. This was most likely JTB’s fault (the ryokan’s English booking agency). However this didn’t turn out to be a problem, as the local tourism officer at the train station (Alexander the Frenchman) greeted us on arrival and called the ryokan.
A quintessential experience if you are in Ishikawa.
Excellent local seafood
The guest room is very good - no much to complain. There is no nature view from the guest room due to the restriction of the area. But from the half open-air bath there is japanese garden style view for you to look at. Also you do not need to worry about privacy. However, not that special and the bedroom was not at comfortable size. (Bedroom is too small and living room is large - but the aircondition is not adjustable independently - thus you will have one side too warm and the other side too cold.
The dinner is the climax, with no doubt. But this is what you pay for it.
Our first ryokan experience
Our experience at Araya Totoan was wonderful and would definitely go again. We arrived at Kagaonsen station by JR and was picked up on time by the ryokan's shuttle. Upon arrival, we were shown to our room and greeted with green tea and mochi. The room was super clean and was divided into a living/dining area, bedroom, and bathroom with outdoor onsen. The best features of this ryokan were definitely its private onsen and kaiseki dinner. There's also a nice hot spring footbath outside the ryokan that you can enjoy. Beds were super comfy and staff super nice. Highly recommend for foreigners looking for ryokan experience in the Kaga region. From check-in to check-out, everything was smooth. Only complaint would be that the wifi in our room wasn't reliable at times; wasn't a big deal since you're there to enjoy the ryokan experience and not youtube...
Visited in May 2011.
We have thought between somewhere like Kagaya or smaller ryokan and have decided to visit Araya Totoan. Stayed for two nights and was one of the most relaxing stay I have had.
I loved the way they did the room - clean and modern (good taste) and how spacious it was. I felt like I was escaping out from Tokyo to some secluded place - even though its facing right along the touristy street.
Food was quite amazing with their local sake. You cannot miss having sake (we are usually more of the wine people). Their reasonable local sake goes so well with their local fish. I usually do not have too much sashimi in Tokyo - so was a chance to have super fresh fish. Everything tasted super fresh.
Service was friendly and nice.
True Ryokan experience
This ryokan is on the edge of Kanazawa in an area not strong on English. However the place is magnificent with hot springs piped into the ryokan, excellent japanese quisine and sufficient english in the house to ensure that the stay is hassle free. It also has a neat bar next door. This is a small inn, so dont expect international mega hotel experiences. Amen to that.