Nestled in the forests in the outskirts of Hanamaki, the renowned Japanese style inn Hanamaki Onsen Kashoen is an ideal spot from which to explore and discover Iwate.

The contemporary ryokan’s spacious rooms are available in Japanese or Japanese/Western style and most have lovely cypress baths.

Dinners are traditional multicourse kaiseki style, using seasonal local ingredients. Dishes are created by bringing out the flavours, aromas, and colours of seasonal ingredients, and by applying contemporary touches to the selection and combination of ingredients as well as the presentation of dishes and tableware, while upholding traditions of Japanese cuisine.

There are communal public baths, including outdoor baths surrounded by Nambu Akamatsu pine trees and also within the grounds of the ryokan is a rose garden, a waterfall that is known as a local ‘power-spot’, a small shrine and a speciality local bakery.

I stayed for one night and very much enjoyed it. This is a largeish, contemporary ryokan set around a large central karesansui style courtyard. Hanamaki Onsen is a collection of ryokan built up around the hot springs and Kashoen is the best option. I stayed in a spacious Japanese/Western-Style Room, which had both a living room with twin beds and a tatami area. The main communal baths were great and there was the customary rotenburo as well. These baths are surrounded by greenery so the views while relaxing in the baths were very enjoyable. The food here was excellent too and I'm happy to recommend Kashoen to anyone visiting Hanamaki Onsen.

Reviewed by Robin