Delicious and Pleasant Getaway at Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里

Ohara 大原 : Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里

19th - 20th July 2010. Written by Xin Li.
Ohara, Kyoto, Japan

Getaways are my favorite part when it comes to a trip. It could be a meal cozy setting with a few good friends or some quiet time with great scenery. Hence, I thoroughly enjoyed my overnight trip to Ohara.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Dining Hall

Finally, locals outnumbered tourists on the western side of Ohara where our lodging, Ohara-no-sato 大原の里 was located. According to some definitions, a minshuku (民宿) is budget-version of the ryokans. However, Ohara no Sato did not occur to me as a budget ryokan at all. While, it may not have personal servants, a private garden/ hot spring bath or a full-fledge kaiseki meal and an enormous price tag. I had a very comfortable stay at Ohara no Sato.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Room Garden View

The private garden with pond was pretty and elegant. I was fortunate that my room’s balcony open out to the garden itself. The experience of waking up in the morning to such a pretty sight was simply awesome.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Green Tea

Upon checking in, the staff would give a tour of the minshuku and you get to receive a complimentary plate of brown and white chocolates as well as teapot of green tea which you could prepare with the hot water provided.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Outdoor Onsen

One of the highlights of Ohara no Sato is its access to hot spring water at their shower rooms which include indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. Apparently, ensuite bathrooms have access to hot spring water too. Having a hot spring bath is an amazing experience indeed. Firstly you have to bath naked with other strangers. Followed by an entry into the onsen, I felt as if I am an egg being cooked in there. Then comes the best part: rejuvenation after a dip in the onsen.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Miso Nabe Dinner

The star of Ohara no Sato however is not in the hot spring bath but the Miso Nabe Dinner. At a price of 9450 Yen including a room and two meals at Ohara, it was one of the best accommodation deals you could get at Ohara.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Egg Salad

The dinner was being served in a traditional dining hall and it was sumptuous affair. It was a hotpot meal with chicken, Chinese cabbage, konnyaku, mushrooms, udon, tofu, carrots and onions. Instead of hot water, they used a miso soup which makes their nabe meal so unique. For the rating hunters, they had one of the better ratings in tablelog in Ohara itself.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Cooked Vegetables

Long with the spread of hot pot ingredients, they also provided us free flow of cooked rice, side dishes which include pickled vegetables, cooked vegetables and a kind of potato salad consisting of mashed potatoes and scallions with a very refined taste was very addictive.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Miso Nabe Dinner

Watching that bubbling concoction in the hot pot was very fulfilling. To top that up, the food was very delicious. The soup for a start was flavourful, rich and hearty with a fragrant aroma of miso.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Miso Nabe Dinner

The onion provided was soft and mildly sweet which was kind of unexpected. The Konnyaku feels like a well-cooked squid, gelatinous and spongy.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Medley of Sweets

The meal itself, complemented with free flow of green tea and water, was very filling. But since I am in a good mood after a delightful meal, I decided to try their desserts, which was a medley of ice cream, sweet cake and caramel. The ice cream was a taste that reminds me of horlicks, which is something I encountered with the tofu around Ohara too. My guess is that it is actually sesame flavored.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Room Turning In

For the night you lay out your own futon to sleep or you could spend a little time at the tiny balcony with some tea as you do some writing, sketching or reading before turning in. The serene, slow-paced kind of lifestyle I yearn to have one day.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Breakfast

Rise and shine, breakfast was served hot pot style again. This time round it took place in another dining hall facing the garden, a spectacular way to start the day.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Breakfast

Breakfast was kept simple and healthy. Vegetables like sweet potato, white radish, cabbage, bean sprouts were provided. There was also tofu, miso soup, rice, grilled salmon and picked vegetables and egg in the breakfast meal.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Breakfast

It was quite filling but light on the palate in contrast to the dinner.

Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里 - Miso Nabe Dinner

Then it was time to leave, the minshuku provides a transport to the bus stop in the morning. All in all, I had a wonderful stay at Ohara-no-Sato. For 9450 Yen a night (gets cheaper if you have a bigger ground like 5-6 people), I felt that it was all worth it and it does not hurt the wallet. Located at the less touristy western part of Ohara, it is not only quieter but it remains convenient to travel to the landmarks located at the eastern side as well as Jakko-in Temple which is located near the minshuku. I recommend staying overnight at Ohara-no-sato if you want a great nabe meal and something easy on the budget (plus friendly service).

The downside of staying overnight in Ohara and generally in resort towns is the lack of night activities since most shops and restaurants closes early (4-6 pm) after the tourist crowds leave. However, if you are there to be away from bustling city life, it is part and parcel of getting away from it I guess?

Ohara 大原, Kyoto 京都, Japan
Ohara-no-Sato 大原の里

Oohara-no-sato Inc.
31 Kusao-cyo Oohara Sakyo-ku Kyoto, 601-1248, Japan


  1. Lovely! I would love a leisure stay in this ryokan!

  2. to ice:it is a lovely place indeed and the views of the mountains around it outside the ryokan was great! =)

  3. I totally agree with Ice and I'm so jealous looking at your post right now! :(

  4. I'm planning a trip to Osaka/Kyoto next May and I just wanted to let you guys know that your blog has been the most help to me in planning my itinerary. All the details and first-hand experience reviews (from a fellow Singaporean too) are immensely helpful, thank you so much :)

  5. to wanderdrifter: you are welcome! hope you enjoy your trip to Kyoto/Osaka as much as I do, I am heading there this December again. Do look at Paul Travels too, his blog had been very helpful in the planning of my first trip to Kyoto heh.

  6. Wow. I stayed there back in 2003-2004... Still looks nice. Didn't really enjoy the long bus journey up from Kyoto though.

    1. haha yea the bus journey is indeed quite long =/ not to mention it cost quite a fair bit of yen to do a round trip.



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