Hotel Kasuien is one of the onsen hotel located in Ureshino Onsen area. The hotel seems to be popular with tour groups and it is one of the bigger hotels in this area. Just after we entered the lobby a tour bus pulled up and the front desk staff called for backup to the front desk. Tucked away in a quiet spot, the multi-story hotel has its own roof top onsen and indoor onsen baths, a restaurant that serve Kaiseki meals for breakfast and dinner, and free parking spaces as well. For entertainment, there is also a karaoke room and relaxation massage room but we didn’t try it. There is a kid’s corner with some toys for kids to play with. The hotel also has its own gift shop where you can buy some local products. Near the lift you will be greeted by their robot Pepper, unfortunately we do not know how to get the Pepper to interact with us as it only speaks Japanese. This hotel is within walking distance to the “shopping street” in Ureshino and we took a walk around the area after checking in. We are not sure whether we are too late (we started walking at 5pm) or because it was raining but most of the shops are shut, which is rather disappointing. Along the walk we had also stopped by the Toyotamahime Shrine.
After checking in, the front desk handed us the traditional room key with a big wooden block attached and offered to walk us to our room. We also need to pick a dinner setting time out of the few options so we can be seated right away upon arrival. Upon entering the room, the front desk staff explained the amenities in the room and the do and don’t for the onsen. The room we booked is the Western style twin room (it is the cheapest option available) and the room is very spacious. It has a nice balcony but unfortunately it was raining that day when we arrived. The view looking out the balcony is very scenic and peaceful. There is a sofa, coffee table and chair in the room. Since it’s an onsen hotel, they have provided Japanese teapot, teacups and also loose tea leaves for guests to enjoy, along with some snacks. I wish I can figure out what the little container with holes is for, perhaps to drain the tea leaves? The bathroom is also very spacious with a bathtub, overhead shower, bidet, toiletries and more than adequate bathroom amenities.
There are 2 onsen areas in Hotel Kasuien. The highest floor has an open air bath with washing area, and the one on the ground floor has an indoor and outdoor baths with washing area. On the ground floor onsen, there is also a shampoo bar where you can pick whatever shampoo and conditioner you fancy. They have also body scrubs in the washing area which you don’t find in most onsen hotels. Personally I prefer the ground floor one because of the garden feel. There is also a private family bath you can reserve for an extra 2000yen. After a nice hot bath, you can enjoy some cold green tea which you can find at the entrance/exit of the onsen. It is really refreshing and a fantastic idea by the hotel too.
Our room price includes a dinner and breakfast kaiseki meals. I love Japanese kaiseki cuisine, you never know what you are getting (unless you read Japanese) and the hotel normally goes for the produce of the season and their local products. Every onsen hotel is slightly different and that makes it interesting. In Ureshino, they are well known for their onsen tofu and that is a must have if you are in Ureshino Onsen area. We rocked up at the restaurant at our designated time, and our table is already set with the tableware and starter dishes. I was pleasantly surprised that the large tour group wasn’t dining in the restaurant as well; perhaps they are dining in the banquet hall which would be a very thoughtful thing by the hotel. The waitresses started bringing out the dishes individually and introduce each dish to us as best they can. The food is amazing and the ladies in the restaurant are so friendly and look so beautiful in their kimono. I have also tried their sake tasting plate and so it’s worth the money (they are very generous with their portions).
Breakfast is also at the same restaurant and it starts at 8.30AM (fixed time). After having a big dinner, 8.30AM is too early for us to have breakfast and because we are not yet hungry, we struggle to enjoy it even though the food is delicious. The star dish for breakfast which is the onsen tofu starts to boil when the waitress lights up the solid fuel, and when it turns to a milky color that’s when you know it’s ready to be enjoyed with its special dipping sauce.
Why I pick this hotel
I was tossing whether to drive from Nagasaki to Dazaifu direct which is going to be a long drive or break it up with a night stay at Ureshino. Given Ureshino is one of the onsen places in Japan that is famous for its beauty water, the decision wasn’t difficult. As an onsen lover, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity on staying in an onsen hotel. This hotel is one of the more reasonable prices one in this area, and also it’s a hotel rather than a ryokan or inn. The outdoor onsen is also very attractive from the website photos and I wanted another kaiseki meal before we finished our holiday. Free parking and wifi is also one of the selection criteria.
This hotel has many facilities which we didn’t get to use. I love the onsen and the kaiski meals. The rooms are very spacious and the wifi works well. I can’t find any fault with the hotel from my short stay. Only disappointing bit is the surrounding shops are closed and I wish it was livelier but this is no fault of the hotel. Definitely would come back again to this place if I go past Ureshino.
|Address:||No. 333 Iwawayukawauchi Ureshino-cho Ureshino-cho, Saga Prefecture 843-0304|
|Tel:||81-954-42-2111 or 0954-42-2111 (local dial)|
Access to this hotel
We drove to Ureshino from Nagasaki and it took us just over 2hours without tolls. The hotel also offered a shuttle service between the bus stop at Ureshino interchange or Ureshino Bus Center and our hotel but I recommend you to arrange this directly with the hotel prior arrival.