Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

At a Glance

  • One of Hokkaido’s top 100 cultural properties with an interesting history

  • Full of traditional Japanese character and charm

  • Guests can expect exceptional hospitality

  • Private in-room hot springs bathing

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Best time to Visit

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Hokkaido is a year-round destination for travellers as its distinct seasons benefit the activities you can do here. The hotter summer months of July and August are perfect for witnessing colourful meadows full of flowers. Winter peaks in January with colder temperatures than the rest of the country, but it is then that the snowy slopes are at their best for skiing. The months of April, May and June are spring-like with pleasant temperatures and long sunny days, which is great for hiking. Autumn arrives early on Hokkaido and by mid-September the famous autumn colours are once again changing the landscape.

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


One of Hokkaido’s top 100 cultural buildings, the historic Ginrinsou was first built as a private residence in 1873. The ryokan now offers spacious and authentic Japanese-style rooms, hot spring baths, fabulous cuisine and wonderful views over Otaru Bay.

Having been built at the end of the 19th century as a lavish private home, Ginrinsou was converted to a ryokan in 1938. Enjoying an elevated position above Otaru Bay, the views across the Sea of Japan from the hot spring baths are truly beautiful. This relaxing retreat comprises two buildings: the honkan being the original building and the shinkan, the annex added in 1990. More recently, a new wing was added in 2004. Full of charming Japanese architectural features and heritage, along with wonderful hospitality, a stay here will appeal for those looking for an authentic Japanese experience. Otaru is a port city on Hokkaido’s west coast, just 30-minutes from Sapporo. Ginrinsou is a 10-minute walk from Otaru Station and the ryokan offers a free shuttle service for guests.
With just 18 rooms, Ginrinsou is a boutique property offering a personal level of service. The rooms are generously sized with traditional tatami mat flooring, futon or Western-style beds, low tatami furniture, seating area and floor-to-ceiling windows. For private onsen bathing and large verandas overlooking the bay, opt for a room in the annex. Amenities include air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, heating, fridge and TV. Guests can dine at the Ginrinsou Grill offering sophisticated French dishes as well as traditional Japanese cuisine, beautifully presented and focused on fresh seafood. 

Along with private in-room bathing, Ginrinsou also has two indoor and outdoor hot spring pools for single sex bathing, providing guests with an unforgettable and authentic Japanese bathing experience, overlooking the glorious views.

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There are three room categories: Tsuru; Takasago and Standard.  All rooms are spacious with traditional tatami mat flooring, either futon or Western-style beds, low furniture, seating area and floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests can opt for a room with private onsen bathing and large veranda overlooking the bay. Amenities include air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, heating, fridge and TV.


While children are welcome, there are no specific facilities or childcare available.


Facilities include two outdoor and two indoor onsen for single sex hot spring bathing. There is one restaurant onsite, the Ginrinsou Grill which serves accomplished French and Japanese cuisine and a bar.


Along with hot springs bathing, guests can enjoy a drink and karaoke singing in the Bar.


  • Abashiri City Highlights

    Take a tour of Abashiri City and visit the Okhotsuku Ryuhyo Museum and Prison Museum.

  • Active Winter in Asahidake

    Today, visit Daisetsuzan National Park, one of the largest national parks in Japan, and embark on a light winter snowshoe trek in the park. Finish the day with a tour on the Asahidake ropeway, which provides great views of the scenic winter landscape.

  • Biei Nature Tour - Flower Fields and the Blue Pond

    Drive to Biei and visit the Patchwork Hill and Shikisai Hill, which offers fantastic views of the countryside and various flower fields. After lunch, visit the Blue Pond which is a mesmerising blue colour before hopping on a Norokko Train.

  • Birdlife and Nature in Onuma National Park

    Reconnect with nature as you visit Onuma National Park, known for its bird life and an abundance of diverse vegetation.

  • Boat Ride on Lake Akan

    Take a Boat Tour and enjoy the scenery of the unspoiled lush forest around Lake Akan and the famous Marimo, one of Japan's unique natural wonders.

  • Hakodate Morning Market and the Grand Matsumae

    Today, visit the Morning Market of Hakodate and experience the local life. Continue to Matsumae, a former castle town, where you can take a tour of the town and the grand Matsumae Castle.

  • Half Day Tour of Kushiro

    Today, take a trip to the Hoso'oka Observation deck to view the spectacular Kushiro Marsh before heading to Washo Market that boasts Japan's largest fish catch!

  • Highlights of Sapporo

    Enjoy a Half Day City tour of Sapporo. You will see the Sapporo Clock Tower, Odori Park, the Old Hokkaido Government Building, the viewing point of Okurayama Ski Jump Hill and more.

  • Hiking in Shiretoko National Park

    Enjoy a three hour hike around the Shiretoko Goko Lakes and discover the untouched nature of Shiretoko.

  • Horseback Riding

    Enjoy a leisurely nature tour on a 70-minutes horseback ride through the great outdoors while taking in the beautiful scenery of Abashiri.

  • Insight into Sapporo Beer

    Take a tour of the Sapporo Beer Factory for an insight into beer and brewing.

  • Morning Local Immersion in Rausu

    This morning, explore the local fishing village of Rausu. Enjoy the chance to witness a real fish auction and watch how the locals snap up their deals at the market.

  • Otaru by Rickshaw and Foot

    Explore Otaru by rickshaw and experience the city in a unique way. Afterwards, take a stroll along the Otaru Canal and have a chance to visit the original stone-built warehouses.

  • Refreshing Lake Toya

    Tour Lake Toya. Enjoy great views of the lake and the neighbouring Showa Shinzan at the observation deck of the Usuzan Ropeway. Make a stop at Lake Hill Toya and taste some of the best home-made icecream. Afterwards, proceed to Niseko for a horse-trek.

  • Sushi Making in Yoichi

    Learn how to make sushi by preparing your own sushi rolls for lunch!

  • Tanaka Sake Brewery Visit

    Enjoy a visit to Tanaka Sake Brewery to understand more about the brewing process of Sake and get a taste of some of the excellent sake of the brewery.

  • Tofu Making Class in Honbetsu

    Take a trip to Honbetsu town to learn how to make tofu from soy beans with the local farmers - a wonderfully unique activity.

  • Tokachigawa Winter Dog Sledding

    Get ready for a winter adventure as you try your hand at mushing a team of Alaskan Huskies!

  • Whisky Factory Visit in Yoichi

    Visit the Nikka whisky factory, one of Japan's top whisky makers.

  • Winter Exploration of Akan

    Discover Eastern Hokkaido as you visit Mt Iou, Lake Mashu, known as the 'foggy lake' and immerse in the culture of the Ainu at the Ainu Kotan.

Location & directions

Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

Otaru is a port city on Hokkaido’s west coast, just 30-minutes from Sapporo. The hotel offers complimentary transfers to and from Otaru Chikko Station on request, alternatively Ginrinsou is just a 10-minute walk away.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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

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