Hyogo: Day Trippers Enjoy Taste of Long-Established Inn

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Long-established ryokan inn Kobayashiya in Kinosaki Onsen in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture

TOYOOKA, Hyogo — A restaurant serving full course meals recently opened at a long-established ryokan Japanese-style inn near the Sea of Japan.

The Kobayashiya inn is located in the more than 1,000-year-old Kinosaki Onsen hot spring area of Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture. It was designated as a national tangible cultural property in 2015 as it retains the original form of a traditional Kinosaki ryokan. The current three-story wooden building on the Otani River was built 98 years ago during reconstruction after the 1925 North Tajima earthquake.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kamameshi rice made using seasonal ingredients

As more and more people want to enjoy day trips to hot springs, Kobayashiya aims to offer the taste of a ryokan to such travelers, in addition to meeting lunchtime needs. The first floor of the ryokan was recently renovated into a restaurant equipped with a counter and tables. The first floor also has an entrance leading directly outside.

The restaurant serves kamameshi, the ryokan’s specialty. The dish consists of rice cooked with various ingredients in small pots. It is usually served as the last course in meals for guests staying there. The dish is also offered to non-staying guests. Dinner needs to be booked in advance, but reservations are not required during lunch hours. The restaurant closes irregularly.

Kinosaki Onsen accommodation facilities usually include dinner and breakfast in their prices, so there are few restaurants open at dinnertime. As more and more inns will begin offering room-only plans in the future, the restaurant also targets travelers staying in town overnight without meals.

Tomori Nagamoto, 49, who runs the ryokan said: “Kinosaki is rich in food ingredients. I would like to satisfy the needs of people who visit here for good food.”