Hanaya inn in Shinshu Bessho Onsen town has spacious grounds of 6500 square meters and still retains the classical spirit of the Taisho period. Its hot spring is freely-flowing and the rooms are designed in the traditional Edo period’s red-light district style with lavishly decorated ceiling transoms.
Hanaya inn was constructed by carpenters specializing in designing castles and temples
Seen from outside Hanaya inn resembles a fortress. The beautiful warehouse is the first building that welcomes you upon your arrival.
Bessho Onsen has many old temples and is the home of carpenters specializing in constructing shrines and castles. Hanaya inn was also designed by those carpenters during the Taisho period and its classical style is still beautifully preserved today.
The charming cloister which connects the buildings
There are many buildings spread across the spacious grounds of 6500 square meters. Most of them are connected by a cloister which leads from the rooms to the hot spring and then to the restaurant. From this cloister you can watch the beautiful flowers of the inner garden, its pond and carp fish. When I was there I saw blossoming wisterias and Japanese honeywort flowers. In the evening the cloister is lit up by lamps which create a very romantic atmosphere.
The classical Room 21
This is Room 21, a classical style suite consisting of two connected rooms. It embodies the spirit of the Taisho period. The other rooms also possess a peculiar spirit that you’ll be excited to discover.
The furnishing is classical in the style of Taisho, the lamps are incandescent and easy on the eyes, while the lampshades are stylish and retro.
The highlight of Room 21 is the decorated ceiling. The lacquered transoms have pictures of seasonal flowers and plants. The room possesses something of the red-light district spirit of the Edo period. It very much resembles the lavish staircase of Meguro Gajoen in Tokyo. From the windows you can see the cloister and the beautiful inner garden.
The dining room is like an antique museum
The dining room is located on the second floor. Here the harmony of the retro lampshade and the zelkova tree pillars and joists is splendid. Those joists are a masterpiece themselves. Whole pieces of zelkova trees have been used. The organ also reminds you of the old times.
The open-air bath is at the end of the cloister
The open-air bath is located between the trees at the end of the cloister. This is a freely-flowing hot spring with a skin beautification effect.
Other baths include the beautiful marble indoor bath with classical style stained glass windows, and the bath made of Izu rocks which always remain warm. The hot spring water is good for treating nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain, stiff shoulders, sensitivity to cold and exhaustion. It’s thermal sulfuric water, so not especially delicious but good for treating diabetes and constipation.
I recommend Bessho Onsen’s Hanaya inn not only for its classical Taisho style, but also for the delicious meals. Popular sightseeing spots like Kitamuki-Kannon and the national treasure Anrakuji Temple are within a walking distance, so you can visit them after breakfast.
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