At a Glance
Exquisite Kaiseki and Shabu-Shabu dinners served in your room each evening
A short walk from Gora Station from where you can begin the Hakone Circuit
Beautiful indoor and outdoor onsen (hot-spring baths) with rock pools and waterfalls
Indoor swimming pool available for all guests
Attentive and discreet service
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Hakone is characterised by a mild climate with high precipitation. The climate here is much cooler than it is in Tokyo. The best time to visit Hakone is from April to November.
To start planning your holiday to Gora Kadan
Gora Kadan is one of Japan's most luxurious and chic Ryokans located in the Hakone National Park. It is a great base for exploring the local 'onsen' or hot springs and the surrounding Hakone area.
Although Gora Kadan is a relatively new Ryokan, its original building dates back 300 years and was the summer home of the Kan’in-No-Miya Imperial family. The attention to detail at the hotel is evident in the perfectly manicured gardens, the architecture of the rooms and the outdoor walkways made of identically shaped and sized river stones.
All rooms have tubs large enough to float in and the suites include saunas and garden-view granite baths fed by natural hot springs. The accommodation at Gora Kadan is both unique and luxurious.
Meals are served in the tatami floor rooms or can be taken in a dining room and centre around Kaiseki-style cuisine, which consists of several courses, some no bigger than a mouthful and requires the use of only the freshest ingredients. Meals at Gora Kadan can occupy several hours, and, in accordance with Kaiseki standards, no two can ever be the same.
Soak in the 'onsen', Hakone’s natural mineral rich hot springs, then relax in Gora Kadan’s spa where attendants are present to ensure that gaijin (non-Japanese) have their light cotton yukatas tied correctly.
Gora Kadan's rooms are all tranquil retreats with traditional Japanese décor and elegant design. There are also a range of suites to choose from, some with fabulous outdoor baths and balconies. They offer the height of tranquillity and service and give guests an opportunity to experience an authentic Japanese ryokan experience.
Children are welcome and there is a special children's menu and a private family bath so the family can enjoy the relaxation and healing properties of the hot springs together. Some of the suites are very well suited to accommodating families with extra beds provided for children in the separate living area.
Gora Kadan has a Japanese restaurant, coffee bar, massage chairs, library, a wonderful soothing spa within a peaceful Japanese garden, an indoor swimming pool, an inviting outdoor hot spring pool and well equipped gym and sauna.
Other than the facilities and activities available within the hotel, golf, tennis, hiking trails and fishing can all be enjoyed close by to Gora Kadan.
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
Gora Kadan is a fantastic example of a Ryokan which combines traditional values and style with a more modern and international feel making it that more welcoming to western guests. The hotel is set on the outskirts of Gora town over looking beautifully manicured gardens thick with pine trees and intricately placed koi ponds. The Kadan Suites are the rooms to opt for as they have enough space to relax and all have beautiful private onsen bathing tubs. My favourites were the rooms with panoramic onsen located on the balcony with views out of the gardens. A huge part of the Ryokan experience is dinner and Gora does not disappoint with incredible Kaiseki dinner served course by course as you relax in your room. The whole experience is designed to relax and rejuvenate and you will come out of it feeling amazing!
Rikki Poynton (Staff)
Just a short stroll from Gora station and with easy access to the funicular which takes right up into the mountains, the Gora Kadan's amazing location is unrivalled. Each room has its own unique views of either expansive mountain valleys or intimate, private gardens.
The private Onsens are a really nice touch and means you don't have to go completely nude with the locals! It has a real Japanese feel while maintaining a super luxurious feel.
Sophie Wynn-Williams (Staff)
Incredibly friendly staff truly welcome you to enjoy your traditional ryokan experience. The rooms are spacious with your bedroom having comfy, cosy futon beds and bathroom having traditional wooden bath. Enjoy relaxing in the Osen (outdoor hot springs and indoor bath), do note that this is a traditional experience so swim wear is prohibited, or enjoy a swim in the pool jacuzzi, before dressing up in your Yakuta to enjoy your 9 course Japanese tasting menu.
Sarah Rowan (Staff)
A stay at Gora Kadan is a totally unique, once in a lifetime experience. The surrounding area is just beautiful; set high up in the mountains, with a gloriously alpine feel, fresh air and close proximity to Mount Fuji. Traditionally the Japanese come to this area to rest and Gora Kadan is the perfect place for R&R. With a supremely tempting spa menu, indoor and outdoor spa pool, main swimming pool and gym, it has a super set-up. The service is impeccable and the ryokan is so beautiful and authentic, that it would be a great shame to miss it.
Sophie Jones (Staff)
Winding up the tiny mountainous roads from Odawara station where at places there is only room for one car to pass, the scenery was absolutely breath taking, surrounded by wooded mountainsides, which in February were covered in a thick layer of snow. On arriving at Gora Kadan with nothing but views of deep valleys and rolling mountains I instantly felt relaxed and ready to enjoy some serious R&R in the onsen. Nestled at the bottom of a small hill surrounded by forest and bamboo acting as a barrier the outdoor onsen was incredibly relaxing. The brisk February air made it that much better as I stepped into the wonderfully hot water. You do have to follow the rules and go completely nude, so if this is a serious turn off, Gora Kadan can book the Family Bath for you to have your own exclusive onsen experience in complete privacy.
Evi-Elli La Valle (Staff)
WOW is probably the best word to describe Japan and staying here was the highlight of my whole trip. Everything at Gora Kadan is absolutely perfect and it was such an amazing experience. On arrival you are shown to your room by a member of staff who then looks after your every need...It is pure relaxation and such a change from the busier cities. I changed into my yukata, went to the onsen with its amazing indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths and was then served the most exquisite nine-course meal in my tatami mat room. Dinner included everything from red snapper sashimi to mackerel sushi and also a few more adventurous items including conch meat! The flavours were just amazing! I would highly recommend this property for anyone who is interested in food or just looking for a relaxing few nights in their tour of Japan.
Victoria Douglas (Staff)
As a complete spa junkie I felt extremely jealous of the guests when I visited Gora Kadan just for lunch. Relaxation is taken so seriously with an amazing spa menu, some of the best therapists in the world and the absolute tranquillity of being located within the Hakone Mountains. Although it can rain quite often in this area, I feel this adds to the atmosphere as you soak in the onsen watching the cherry blossoms trickle down from above - bliss! You really must be prepared to go with the flow here however with meals at set times, such as the seven-course, artfully arranged kaiseki dinner lasting at least four hours!
Spend a day exploring the treasures of Hakone, including a cruise on Lake Ashi, marvelling at the magnificent views of Mount Fuji and surrounding mountains, before visiting the Hakone Open Air Museum, home to works by Rodin, Miro and Picasso.
Scott Dunn Suggests: Walking in and around Hakone
Hakone have some beautiful hiking trails which provide stunning, scenic walks to many of Japans lofty or snowy peaks. Some of the original stone pavements remain which take hikers past tea houses, waterfalls and through overgrown forests.
Tokyo, Kiso Valley, Kyoto, Miyajimaguchi & Lake Kawaguchi (Mount Fuji)
from £9600 pp inc flights & transfers for 11 nights
- A chance to see Japan off-the-beaten-track and enjoy its incredible scenery
- An incredible journey from nearly the north to south of Honshu taking in a huge amount of the island
- Amazing adventure and chance to explore a more rural side of Japan on the Nakasendo Walking Trail
Location & directions
Gora Kadan is located in the heart of the Fuji-Hakone National Park, on the grounds of the former summer villa of a member of the Imperial family.
How to get there
12-hour International flight to Tokyo International Airport-Haneda, followed by a 40-minute Shinkansen (bullet train) journey to Odawara and then a road transfer of 1-hour.
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