private outdoor onsen at kakurean hidaji ryokan in takayama japan

Private Onsen For Those With Tattoos at Ryokan in Takayama Japan

beautiful snow covered mountain view town landscape outside Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan

Visiting a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and soaking in the natural hot springs is a wonderful experience - the one we found in Takayama, Japan was one of the highlights of our trip!

Deep in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu, there lies a quiet little village called Fukuji Hot Springs. This village is the home of Kakurean Hidaji, a beautiful ryokan with both communal and private open air baths. Since both Lawrence and I have tattoos, finding a ryokan with a private onsen was a MUST as they are prohibited at most public or communal hot springs.

young lady in white beanie, black leather jacket and green emerald skirt catching snowflakes on a snowy road
catching snowflakes for the first time!

After about four days of nonstop activities in Tokyo and five hours of traveling by bus, we were ready to soak in the heat of the natural spring water. But first we needed to find the place! There weren’t many structures in the village, so although we did get turned around at first, it didn’t take long to reach our destination where one of the hotel staff was waiting outside for us as the snowfall was starting to thicken.

bus stop outside old japanese building with mountains in the background

Once inside, we were instructed to take off our outside shoes and change into indoor slippers provided by the inn. Our bags were set aside and we were led to a cozy table at the opposite side of the lobby. The check-in process involved a warm cup of tea and a few treats as they explained the rules of the facility, all the amenities, local fare, as well as reviewing the following day’s bus schedule to ensure we made it to our next destination on time.

Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan, japanese interior with tatami mats, fur rugs and hanging kettle
Kakurean Hidaji's cozy lobby.

outdoor hot spring with a small waterfall surrounded by rocks and snow covered plants at a ryokan in takayama, japan
Personal hot spring right outside our room.

They then whisked us away to our rooms where we immediately disrobed and changed into the much more comfortable yukatas provided. We then tested out our private bath and outdoor spring and roamed the halls of the inn to find this mind-blowing "milk" that people always insist we try. After soaking in the mineral rich water, it was definitely refreshing and the Hida milk we had is by far the best milk we've ever tasted!

young woman and man with glasses dressed in yukata or japanese kimono holding two small bottles of hida milk with a snowfallen backdrop compliments of Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
Found the milk!

Eventually it was about time to set out for dinner which is included with the cost of the room. And what a spread it turned out to be! Everything was made fresh with local ingredients.

skewers of caramelized mochi and grilled fish roasting above a charcoal pit. kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
grilled mochi and fish

kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
miso soup

kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
fresh sashimi

variety of local mountain vegetables

wagyu beef nigiri part of kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan

wagyu beef cubes grilling as part of kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan


young filipino man drinking sake in a japanese yukata while it is snowing outside Kakurean Hidaji kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
Lawrence enjoying the snowfall with some sake after dinner.

twin japanese futons inside Kakurean Hidaji kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
Looks like the staff snuck into our room during dinner to lay out our futons for us!

Dessert and onigiri made with leftover dinner was waiting for us in our room as well!

We ended the night with dessert and onigiri. The following morning we squeezed in one more soak in the hot spring before breakfast where we absolutely fell in love with the hoba miso! They sell hoba miso kits at the market across from Kakurean Hidaji, and our one regret was not buying any while we were there.

Young man with glasses and woman dressed in yukatas sitting at a japanese style table inlayed with a cooking pit. There are various dishes surrounding them. Kaiseki breakfast at Kakurean Hidaji kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
Enjoying our last meal at Kakurean Hidaji before we make our way to Kyoto.

Japanese style breakfast served in a variety of hand crafted ceramic bowls and plates in a basket at Kakurean Hidaji kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan

Japanese breakfast with a kettle, a serving box with steamed mountain vegetables, a hand crafted ceramic rectangular plate with grilled fish fillet and two cubes of tofu at Kakurean Hidaji kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan

Japanese style breakfast spread with steamed white rice, miso soup, hoba miso, and a variety of fresh local mountain vegetables served in wooden and hand crafted ceramic bowls at Kakurean Hidaji kaiseki at Kakurean Hidaji ryokan in takayama japan
hoba miso sizzling in the back

Soon after breakfast it was time to leave for the bus stop, so we headed back to the room to pack our things and walked the short distance to our bus stop. The snowfall only lasted through the night and as we were leaving the inn the sun had already begun to melt away the snow and icicles that had formed overnight. It was truly a magical experience and we will definitely be back here in the near future!

And if you are planning a trip to Japan and happen to wander through Takayama, be sure to give this ryokan a try! Let us know in the comments below if you plan to go or have been here before. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Icicles melting off a lush green bush with beautiful snowy mountain in the distance.


Best ryokan with private onsen in Takayama Japan by


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