Best Hotels in Japan: Gora Kadan Ryokan, Hakone

Gora Kadan: A Journey Through Timeless Elegance in Hakone

Nestled in the verdant hills of Hakone, a mere 90 minutes from the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, lies Gora Kadan, a sanctuary of timeless elegance and unparalleled luxury. This extraordinary ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, once served as a retreat for the Kaninnomiya Imperial family. Today, it stands as a testament to Japan’s rich cultural heritage, offering guests an immersive experience that transcends the ordinary.

From its exquisite architecture and meticulously maintained gardens to its unparalleled culinary offerings and indulgent spa treatments, this property is a true haven for discerning travelers seeking an authentic taste of Japanese refinement.

Disclaimer: Stay Distinct works with affiliate partners. If you make a purchase or booking through our links we may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you).

A Step Back in Time

Cool Hotels in Japan: Gora Kadan Ryokan, Hakone
Images courtesy Gora Kadan

As you approach Gora Kadan, you’ll be struck by the property’s serene beauty and the seamless blending of traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern luxury. The main building, a stunning example of early Showa-era architecture, houses a series of beautifully appointed guestrooms, suites, and common areas. The elegant wooden structure, adorned with intricate carvings and delicate paper screens, is a harmonious blend of past and present.

Gora Kadan comprises 39 guestrooms and suites, each offering a unique experience that caters to individual tastes and preferences. Some rooms feature private open-air baths fed by natural hot springs, while others boast private gardens or terraces with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. All accommodations are designed with traditional Japanese elements, such as tatami mat flooring, shoji screens, and fusuma sliding doors, ensuring a truly immersive experience.

The Art of Japanese Hospitality

Best Ryokan in Japan: Gora Kadan, Hakone

From the moment you set foot in Gora Kadan, you’ll be enveloped in the warmth and graciousness of Japanese hospitality. The attentive staff, dressed in elegant kimonos, greet each guest with a bow and a welcoming smile. From assisting with your luggage to preparing your room for relaxation, the Gora Kadan team is committed to making your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible.

During your stay, you’ll be treated to an array of services and amenities that elevate the ryokan experience to new heights. Each morning, a traditional Japanese breakfast is served in the privacy of your room or in the property’s dining area. The meal, a delectable assortment of seasonal ingredients, is meticulously arranged to create a visually stunning and palate-pleasing experience.

Best Places to Stay in Japan: Gora Kadan Ryokan, Hakone

In the evenings, guests are invited to indulge in Gora Kadan’s exceptional kaiseki cuisine. This multi-course meal, a true culinary art form, showcases the finest seasonal ingredients in a series of beautifully presented dishes. Each course, from the delicate appetizers to the sumptuous main dishes, is expertly crafted by the talented culinary team, led by Executive Chef Masahiro Nomura.

A Garden Oasis

Unique Places to Stay in Japan: Gora Kadan Ryokan, Hakone

One of Gora Kadan’s most striking features is its meticulously maintained gardens, which have been cultivated and preserved for generations. These tranquil spaces, complete with koi-filled ponds, meandering pathways, and lush greenery, serve as the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a moment of quiet reflection.

Take your time exploring the various corners of the garden, and you’ll discover a traditional teahouse, a charming reminder of Japan’s ancient tea ceremony tradition. Here, guests can partake in a tea ceremony experience, led by a master tea practitioner, who will guide you through the intricate rituals and customs that have shaped this venerable art form for centuries.

As you wander through the garden, you’ll also come across several outdoor hot spring baths, or rotenburo, tucked away in discreet locations. These mineral-rich pools, fed by the region’s natural hot springs, offer a soothing respite from the day’s activities. As you soak in the healing waters, surrounded by nature’s beauty, you’ll find your mind and body rejuvenated, and your spirit refreshed.

The Ultimate Indulgence: Gora Kadan Spa

Luxury Hotels in Japan: Gora Kadan Ryokan, Hakone

For a truly indulgent experience, look no further than the Gora Kadan Spa. This haven of tranquility offers a range of treatments and therapies inspired by ancient Japanese rituals, designed to relax, rejuvenate, and restore. Choose from an array of massages, facials, and body treatments, each incorporating natural ingredients and techniques that have been honed over generations.

The spa also features a private onsen suite, where guests can enjoy a secluded soak in a natural hot spring bath, followed by a bespoke treatment tailored to their individual needs. The spa’s expert therapists work closely with each guest to create a personalized experience that addresses specific concerns and preferences, ensuring a truly transformative journey for both body and soul.

Exploring the Wonders of Hakone

Boutique Hotels in Japan: Gora Kadan Ryokan, Hakone

While it may be tempting to spend your entire stay within the enchanting world of Gora Kadan, the surrounding region of Hakone offers a wealth of experiences for the curious traveler. From breathtaking natural landscapes to cultural and artistic treasures, there is something to suit every taste and interest.

A short distance from Gora Kadan, you’ll find the Hakone Open-Air Museum, a unique institution that combines the beauty of art with the splendor of nature. Wander through the museum’s expansive sculpture park, and you’ll discover works by renowned artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Niki de Saint Phalle, all set against the stunning backdrop of Hakone’s mountains.

For those seeking a more active pursuit, consider embarking on a hike through the nearby Hakone National Park. This expansive reserve offers a variety of trails, ranging from leisurely strolls to more challenging treks, all showcasing the region’s diverse flora and fauna, as well as its famed volcanic landscapes.


Authentic Ryokan in Japan: Gora Kadan, Hakone

Gora Kadan is more than just a luxury ryokan; it is a living testament to Japan’s rich history and enduring commitment to the art of hospitality. From the moment you enter this enchanting retreat, you’ll be transported to a world of timeless elegance, where every detail is designed to delight the senses and soothe the spirit.

Whether you’re seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a romantic getaway, or a journey through Japan’s cultural heritage, Gora Kadan offers an experience that is nothing short of magical. So, as you plan your next adventure, consider venturing off the beaten path and into the captivating world of Gora Kadan. The memories you create here will last a lifetime.

Check Price and Availability

What do the reviews say:

“This place is hard to describe with words, it’s an experience. This place strives for the perfect ryokan experience and it’s fair to say they’ve attained that goal. The property is gorgeous with a very researched architecture making good use of the view over the valley. Every part of the buildings inspire calm and relaxation. The staff is just over the top and will attend to your every requests. The food, both diner and breakfast, was amazing: a large variety of ingredients mixed together to explore every possible taste.”