Fujiya is a place almost unique in Japan. I read about his ryokan in an architecture journal and from this moment it was my wish to spend a night there someday. Due to the remoteness of the Place and the price it took quite a while but finally I was able to go there. Ginzan Onsen itself is a small village in a steep valley, consisting almost entirely of ryokans and Onsen with a small river flowing through.
There are also some nice hiking trails around and along the river.
The Ryokan itself was completely refurbished by famous architect Kengo Kuma: The old building was demolished in parts, only the wooden main structure was preserved. The entire inner part was rebuilt in a very nice straight, clean and modern style yet with some references to the traditional architecture by using a lot of washi, bamboo, wood and stone. There are very few places where Tradition and modern architecture are so well blended like here.
Oh yes, the service is very good, too. I was picked up by the owner himself together with his two nice kids at Oishida Station and taken the entire way to Ginzan. My stay at the ryokan was made as comfortable as possible and since I was the only guest that day I could choose from all onsen (altogether there are five of them and each with its own character). Dinner was a feast for all senses and I had a wonderful sleep with the soft sound of the river flowing by. The breakfast next morning was wonderful too. But the best part came after that as the owner drove me to my next destination (Yamadera) in his car, which took about two hours! And it was for free! Just awesome!
All in all it was one of the best ryokan experiences I ever had. A+ and recommendation especially for the architecture-interested traveller! The only thing which can be mentioned as drawback are the high prices for the rooms. But still it is good value!
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