Thursday, September 6, 2018

Kinugawa Kanaya Onsen in Nikkō: East Meets West

Water is very important in Japanese culture and religion. One of the major onsen hot spring areas in the Kanto region of Japan, the Kinugawa River in the town of Kinugawa Onsen is dotted with hotels and relaxing Japanese ryokan, nestled charmingly within the surrounding valley. Just two hours by train from Tokyo, onsen were first found in the area in the early Meiji period. Built in 1931 by John Kanaya, the luxurious Kinugawa Kanaya Onsen — his beloved "Villa in the Valley" — is the oldest Western-style hotel in Japan, overlooks the picturesque Kinugawa River and mountains, and just a short drive to the Nikkō Toshogu shrine - a sanctuary venerated for generations by the tokugawa shogunate. With its roots in the beginning of the Japanese hotel industry, the Kinugawa Kanaya Hotel offers a timeless fusion of the orient and western cultures, from the traditional and contemporary.

Aside from a private onsen in most guestrooms, there are also two large onsen for guests, complimented by Kanaya's original take on traditional kaiseki cuisine featuring multiple courses of exquisitely prepared local seasonal ingredients. Guests can choose between two delectable dinner menus: the Kanaya Kaiseki Wakeiyosan full course meal offering a culinary experience of fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced locally from Tochigi and throughout Japan; or the Kanaya Yuba Kaiseki Keiryusuimei presents the bounty of the Kinugawa River’s pure waters, presenting nourishing Nikko 'yuba' together with fresh, seasonal vegetables. Guests can also opt to have a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner served in their room — Japanese style. Deeply relaxing in an onsen hot spring is one of the luxurious pleasures of travel in Japan. The timeless flow of the Kinugawa River and the heavenly scent of Japanese cypress will deeply relax your heart and body in the hotel's hot springs for moments of pure bliss. With twolarge outdoor baths, made with white granite and the wood of ancient cypress trees nearly 2,000 years old, stepping into the warm Kanaya hot springs and indulge in sumptuous Kaiseki haute cuisine is the embodiment of "omotenashi," which means wholehearted hospitality.

The elegant lobby of Kinugawa Kanaya Onsen

Kinugawa Kanaya Onsen founder - John Kanaya

Green Tea welcome drink

Japanese-Western Suite with view of the Kinugawa

In-suite hot spring bath

Private balcony overlooking the Kinugawa River Valley

Famous chef John Kanagawa

Japanese Grilled Sweetfish with salt

Sea Bream and Turnip Clear Soup

Seasonal fish in soy milk soup

Tochigi eggplant with tosa vinegar jelly

Shrimp potato Dengaku and abalone

Bamboo shoot with leaf bud sauce

Fried yuba and seasonal vegetables salad

Nikko Salmon grilled in magnolia leaves with homemade miso

Pumpkin and spinach millefeuille

Chilled tomato with colouful vegetable jelly

Seasonal vegetables and shellfish

Kobe Beef

Sakura fish paste in clear soup

Kana Lounge with majestic views of the Kinugawa River

Stone path at the Onsen

Shiki-no-yu "Four Seasons Bath"

Gazebo for cooling off between baths

Spacious sauna made of European paulownia wood

The Ancient Cypress Hot Spring Bath at night, surrounded by a beautiful garden

The hot spring is equipped with two large outdoor baths, made of white granite and the wood of ancient cypress trees nearly 2,000 years old

Exclusive items from the Kanaya Select collection, including Tochigi handicrafts, confectionery, 
and John Kanaya brand products, are sold in the exclusive gift shop

John Kanaya brand chocolates are served in the Chocolate Bar,
along with alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea

Signature Teas

Cigar Lounge offers Cubans and other premium cigars from around the world

Chess Board in the Cigar Lounge

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