Araya Totoan

Yamashiro Onsen, Japan

At a Glance

  • One of the few, truly authentic Ryokan experiences. You will really feel like you are getting a Japanese experience

  • The private outdoor hot springs are a truly relaxing way to unwind

  • The surrounding town is very much off-the-beaten track and is great for exploring

  • Enjoy a vast array of beautifully presented and exquisite traditional dishes during your Kaisaki dinner

  • Enjoy the unique and renowned Japanese hospitality here and try your hand at Japanese

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Yamashiroonsen is characterised by a very seasonal climate with high precipitation. The climate here in winter is much cooler than it is in Tokyo. The best time to visit Yamashiroonsen is from April to June and September to November.

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Insider's View

There aren't any convenience stores near the property so be sure to pick up snacks from a store beforehand in case the food isn't to your liking.

Make sure you take a walk up into the hill just behind the Ryokan. There are beautiful temples and shrines along the way and the views from the top are amazing.

Don't miss a visit to the wine bar on 4th floor that was built in honour of Meiji emperor’s visit.

If your dietary requirments permit step outside your comfort zone and fully commit to the experience by ordering the Japanese breakfast

If all of the onsen bathing and rejuvenation has left you feeling too healthy seek out the hotel's hidden bar. It is a wonderfully cosy place to relax with a cocktail pre dinner or sample their fine selection of Japanese whiskies before bedtime.

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Araya Totoan or take a look at our itineraries to Japan


A traditional Japanese Ryokan set in the Yamashiro Onsen region of Japan, Araya Totoan offers luxurious accommodation with unrivalled Japanese service. Enjoy your private onsen followed by a kaisaki dinner, a truly authentic Ryokan experience.

Set in the quaint Yamashiro Hot Spring village and surrounded by beautiful rolling hills, Araya Totoan is a perfect retreat for those looking for an authentic, off the beaten track experience. As you pull into the old town you will really feel like you have entered another world which remains unspoilt by tourism. Originally built in 1639, the property itself has been in the same family for more than 18 generations and if you are lucky, you will meet the current owner yourself.

Despite its remote location, Araya Totoan offers tasteful and luxurious accommodation with each room boasting its own private hot spring and terrace complete with reflection garden and even a wine bar where you'll find a wide collection of international wines, whiskey and of course, Sake. The beds are traditional Japanese futons set up on the floor, but which are surprisingly comfortable.

The property has a no shoes policy throughout and guests are encouraged to wear the traditional kimonos known as yukatas supplied by Araya Totoan. Dinner is served in the typical, Kaisaki way with several courses served over the period of 1-2 hours or more. The food is definitely a highlight during your stay at the Ryokan and is beautifully presented to a Michelin standard. Enjoy the most incredible sashimi, sushi, Wagyu beef, vegetables and tofu all served in tiny bowls, one after the another. This feast of gastronomic delights goes down especially well with a glass of sake or two.

If relaxing in the hot spring and dining aren't enough, take a stroll through the narrow streets of this tiny town and explore the local life. Just behind the property is path leading through a complex of shrines and temples, and up to the top of the hill from where you can catch an amazing view of the whole area.

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Each of the guest rooms are authentically finished in a Japanese design and are floored with tatami mats throughout. Some rooms benefit from a private reflection garden and outdoor onsen (hot spring).


There are no specific facilities for children but families are welcome. Please be aware that the food can be unfamiliar for very young children and it is difficult to cater for those with strict dietary requirements.


The Ryokan boasts onsite onsens, both private and public, in room dining, beautiful gardens and a wine bar offering a selection of whiskeys, sake and wine.


The Ryokan experience is all about relaxing, enjoying the hot spring waters and dining on the most exquisite array of weird and wonderful dishes. Outside, guests can take leisurely walks around the town exploring the local area and up into the hills.



Dominic Atterton (Staff)

 A stay at Aroya is a step into history and a completely different culture. From the moment you arrive and are welcomed likely by the entire staff you are pulled into a traditional world. Shoes will be removed never to be seen again and you will be dressed in a yakuta with no need for your western dress here. The day will be spent relaxing in your private onsen fed by bubbling hot springs and famed for their health giving minerals. Alternatively you can brave it in the communal baths if youre feeling adventurous. Dinner is a multi-course journey down the rabbit hole with all manor of delicious sea food and strange wobbly things you will struggle to identify!


Kirsty Cowie (Staff)

Staying at Araya Totoan is one of the most authentic Japanese experiences that you can do. Located off the beaten track, approximately an hour away from Kanazawa, this is the perfect place to call home while discovering the city that brought Japan Gold leaf. Established in 1939, this traditional Ryokan still encompasses everything quintessentially Japanese and the owner is the sole employee to speak English. From the moment you arrive, say goodbye to your western clothing and enjoy your time in their complimentary and surprisingly comfortable yukakta.


Blanche Sherman (Staff)

Owned by the same family for the past 18 generations, this traditional ryokan is probably the most authentic luxury ryokan experience you can get. The kaiseki dinner and Japanese breakfast are exceptional, and each course is prepared and presented with beautiful prefection. Each room boasts a private onsen and outdoor space where you can totally relax and soak up all the healing properties of the natural hot spring water. Thought English is not widely spoken here, from the moment your car pulls into the driveway up until the moment you leave, you can expect the highest standards of omotenashi service.


Rikki Poynton (Staff)

A real authentic Ryokan experience which caters mainly for Japanese guests, the private hot springs and Michelin standard food really set this place apart!


  • Jigokudani Monkey Park and Obuse Township

    Visit Jigokudani Monkey Park and nearby Obuse. Jigokudani Monkey Park sits at the foot of the Shiga Highlands and local Japanese macaques are often seen here bathing in the natural hot springs. Afterwards visit Obuse, home to sake warehouses and galleries

  • Kanazawa Half Day Tour

    This half day guided experience is a fantastic introduction to Kanazawa, visiting Omicho Fish Market, Kanazawa's Samurai district and Kenrokyen Gardens.

  • Private Tour of Kanazawa and Shirakawago

    Today you will enjoy a scenic day first exploring the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden before heading out into the countryside of Shirakawago.

  • Tour of Sake Brewery and Tasting in Kanazawa

    Take a tour of one of Kanazawa's key industries, Sake brewing. Have the chance to watch the process from start to finish which uses the same unchanged techniques that have been utilised for centuries.

Location & directions

Yamashiro Onsen, Japan

Located in the small hot-spring town on Kaga Onsen just outside Kanazawa, you will really feel like you have arrived in Japan. Set in the hills, enjoy walks around the town or climb to the top of a hill for the most amazing views.

How to get there

The Ryokan is about 1 hour away by car from Kanazawa or just 15 minutes from Kaga Onsen station.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Araya Totoan or take a look at our itineraries to Japan

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