Have you ever wanted to discover an area in Japan that is less traveled, while staying in a classy, luxurious Japanese style hotel? A great place to go would be to do just this is Yuda Onsen, a hot spring town in Yamaguchi (not too far from Hiroshima). Situated here is the Matsudaya Hotel, an exquisite hotel of which the gardens date back more than 300 years. With a reputation for hosting famous individuals throughout those years, the Matsudaya Hotel is a place where you too can experience Japanese-style ‘omotenashi’ hospitality in a historical setting. Read on to find out more!
The Matsudaya Hotel is just a 13-minute walk from the Yudaonsen train station, and it is said to have been established during the Edo Period. The quaint inn itself was built in 1860, with a modern annex added to it later. The hotel is only is 4 km from the famous Ruriko-ji Temple, 3 km from the Yamaguchidai Shrine, and 60 minutes by airport bus from Fukuoka Airport. The nearest airport is the Yamaguchi Ube Airport, which is about 31 km away. Characterised by airy rooms with tatami floors, desks, flat-screen TVs, and chabudai dining tables, as well as tea-makers and sitting areas with a garden view, this hotel also has other amenities such as a cosy lounge, an in-house museum, a communal bath house, a 300-year-old garden, and an informal restaurant that specializes in seafood dishes.
The Matsudaya hotel has been host to several historical people from Japan’s past. The inn is famous for its connections with revolutionaries from the Meiji Restoration (a group called ‘Ishin-shishi’) and has an extraordinary historic feel that is so enjoyable to relax in with its serene environment and space provided.
There is also a reference room of famous historic people who once stayed here, which has a feel of Japanese nostalgia. There is a Japanese garden with a pond in the center, impressive, with a Japanese wandering-style. This is an important cultural heritage site, being the meeting place of important figures from the time when the Meiji Restauration changed the cultural landscape of Japan completely.
This centuries-old now modernized ryokan-style hotel is also the site of the Ishi no Yu bath, which is said to have been constructed in 1860; the same bath where revolutionary samurai and the plotters of the Meiji revolution once bathed, which gives you the chance to bathe in history. The ryokan’s garden setting and excellent service of the hotel staff will likely ease you of any present-day rebellious thoughts.
In the lounge, a library and a room for documents specific to the restoration is open for guests as well as visitors. The hotel provides a high-quality Japanese-style experience, with rooms that were made with an abundance of wood. Each room comes with a TV, air conditioning, a seating area refrigerator, and other facilities including a Wi-Fi connection to make your stay a very comfortable one.
If you have a Japan Rail Pass or happen to be in the Hiroshima or northern Kyushu area, make sure to book your stay at this historical hotel for some well-deserved rest and relaxation!