The Sekizenkan Ryokan is known as the oldest hot spring hotel in Japan. It is located in Shima Onsen in Gunma Prefecture and has been in business for over 300 years since its establishment in 1691.
The delicate workmanship to create the architecture and the fixtures in the rooms made the ryokan a favorite amongst politicians and writers. It has served as a model for Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, and a filming location for “Station to Heaven” along with various television dramas, commercials, and interviews.
The property has 52 guest rooms distributed amongst three buildings, from the oldest main building, the Sanso building, and the Kashotei building.
Each room features tatami mat flooring, shoji screens, as well as a sitting area with low furniture with wide windows that shows off the surrounding nature.
Guests are served a Japanese breakfast and delicately prepared kaiseki dinners in the comfort of their rooms–the dishes feature seasonal local ingredients that are carefully selected by the chefs. One night’s stay can range from 15,000 to 80,000 JPY.
There are three bath types available for guests to choose from. In the main building, Ganroku no Yu features a Taisho era room with various baths in a spacious interior with high ceilings and arched windows. Kashotei building has Mori no Yu baths–an outdoor bath surrounded by trees, and a large indoor bath. In the Sanso building, there is Sanso no Yu is an indoor private bath that can be reserved for groups, or families.
Sekizenkan is accessible by taking the New Limited Express Kusatsu from Ueno Station in Tokyo to Nakanojo Station then a bus or taxi to Shima Onsen to the last bus stop.
The establishment is operating normally with safety measures in place and limited acceptance to prevent the spread of infection.
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?
Price range (yen)
15,000 – 80,000
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