Aline Laborde

Pinon Inn

Ikaho Onsen's Little Britain

Aline Laborde
Aline Laborde   - 3 min read

After staying in traditional Ryokans, hostels and hotel rooms, I was a little surprised when I came in Pinon Inn. When I stepped into Pinon Inn, I found that I have landed into a genteel lodge foyer room with a warm fireplace and decorative bar, accompanied by The Beatles softly singing ‘Let me take you down, Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields’ in the background. Shortly I was warmly welcomed by a butler who whisked me to my room and gave me a short tour around Pinon Inn in English, which I greatly appreciated. Overall, I was happy with my stay here, and being neatly wrapped by green foliage, this western style Inn offers a comfy, snug stay. Pinon Inn boasts a great position that is only a fifteen minute walk to the famous stone steps of Ikaho, Ikaho Temple and the curving red Kajika Bridge.

Service is top notch with a bilingual butler helping you to your room and helping you to your dinner and breakfast. If you are not too sure what to do in Ikaho Onsen, the staff members are more than happy to recommend the best places to see. Dinner comes in a multi-course meal in your choice of either Chinese or French cuisine, while breakfast comes in your choice of either Chinese or Western style. The inn is also many soba restaurants nearby, or alternately you can have lunch at the many restaurants as you climb Ikaho Onsen’s famous stone steps.

Since its establishment in 1996, Pinon aims to channel a British vibe where each room is outfitted with dainty artworks and where the dining area is outfitted with cozy touches like wood-burning fireplaces, quirky British artwork and a piano. For what you pay, Pinon Inn offers a comfortable homely stay while you can sample the unique waters of Ikaho Onsen. Being within Ikaho Onsen, it is only natural that Pinon Inn’s baths are brimming with the area’s famous waters distinguished by its beautiful golden colour. The water even has a legend in the area remarking that the water’s rich Iron content increases fertility in women. But whoever you are, the water is also good for your skin with its rich mineral content of Iron, Sodium, Calcium and Magnesium while being gentle on the skin with a PH of 6.3. Additionally, Pinon Inn also features many private hot spring baths overlooking a vibrant garden. Pinon Inn is also a branch of Matsumoto Ryokan up the road, and thus you can also use the ryokan’s onsen for free.

There are three kinds of rooms at Pinon Inn. You can choose between a single room, a twin room or a double room, all fitted with their own toilet, shower, basin and small kitchen area. Each room is also equipped with their own fridge and money safe. With prices starting at 8,610 Yen per night with meals included, if you are looking for a comfy place to stay that is also good for your pocket then Pinon Inn should be on the top of your list.

Getting there

To arrive at Pinon Inn, you can take a train to Shibukawa railway station, and from there catch the bus to Ikaho Onsen at Bus Stop 3. From there you will get off at Miharashita bus stop where Pinon Inn is only a five minute walk away.

Aline Laborde

Aline Laborde @aline.laborde

An Australian spellbounded by all things Japanese.