Hotel Urashima Review

Hotel Urashima Review: Best Affordable Onsen Resort

posted in: Kansai Wide Japan | 0

Last updated on April 27th, 2024

Kii Katsuura was one of our stops on our trip to explore the Kansai Wide region. We stayed in Hotel Urashima when visiting Nachikatsuura. It is the most memorable one and highly recommended it. Check out my Hotel Urashima Review and you’ll know why.

Hotel Urashima (ホテル浦島) is a Japanese onsen resort in Nachikatsuura, a quaint fishing port town in Kii Katsuura. The location sits prominently on the east side of Katsuura Bay on a rugged peninsula jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the best accommodations in the Nachikatsuura area which is located near Nachi Falls and Kumano-Kodo trails. Visitors can choose to stay in Hotel Urashima for 1 or 2 nights while planning the itinerary for the areas.

We stayed in Hotel Urashima during our trip to Kii Katsuura. It was an awesome experience with some pros and cons when spending your night in the hotel. Read more details in our Hotel Urashima Review.

Hotel Urashima

The View of Hotel Urashima Building

Hotel Urashima is not a traditional ryokan, instead, it is the onsen resort that perfectly mixes with traditional and modern features.

The hotel complex is composed of four separate buildings – Honkan (本館), Nisshokan (日昇館), Nagisakan (なぎさ館), and Sanjokan (山上館) connected by a network of tunnels, elevators, and escalators. It is slightly dated and its long history adds to its charm.

Hotel Urashima Map

Depending on your room selection, each provides different views and experiences during your stay. Guestrooms, especially in the Sanjokan, offer excellent panoramic views.

The building is so huge and color-coded lines are set into the floor to help guests explore this labyrinth. Guests will be provided with maps with explanations of facilities during check-in.

Lawson Konbini at Hotel Urashima

Staying in Hotel Urashima, guests can enjoy the numerous facilities including souvenir shops, karaoke bars, and game centers lining the halls. There is even Lawson Konbini on-site, which is conveniently located in the lobby and open 24 hours for shopping and looking for Japanese snacks!

You can book your room here: Hotel Urashima with the best rate.

Getting to Hotel Urashima

Boarding Point To Hotel Urashima
Boarding Point To Hotel Urashima for shuttle van and boat

Getting to Hotel Urashima is a bit tricky. The property is on its own little, rocky peninsula sticking out into the bay of Katsuura.

To get there, you’ll need to either take the shuttle van or a boat to pick up the guests at the pier which was convenient. There will be hotel personnel awaiting at the pier to take you to the hotel, either by boat or van depending on the time. But generally, a shuttle boat will be used during the peak check-in and check-out time.

Getting To Hotel Urashima by van

During our stay in Hotel Urashima, we were using the shuttle van twice.

One is during the first day when we are doing early check-in by storing our luggage at the early noon. The shuttle van is stopping right opposite the pier. We were also arranging by shuttle van as we are departing from the hotel to the town early morning to see the tuna auction show before 7:00. 

Getting To Hotel Urashima by boat

Getting to Hotel Urashima by boat was a unique experience. We were using the shuttle boat after our visit to Nachi Falls in the late afternoon and after check-out. We enjoy the breezing sea wind with nice during the boat ride.

Friendly Reminder: Hotel Urashima may not be the great place to stay if you are on the tight schedule. It is also advised to allocated some buffer time for getting to the Hotel Urashima.

Japanese-Style Tatami Room

Japanese style room in Hotel Urashima

We booked a traditional Japanese room in the Nagisakan building on the Pacific side. So you are not looking at the fishing harbor, and the views from the room are excellent. It is slightly more expensive compared to the main building. But we are not regret. The view was excellent and so amazing.

Sunset view from room

Our room was very spacious, incredibly clean, and very comfortable. During check-in, you’ll find a Japanese low-lying table with tatami mats over a heated floor. Our room also has a refrigerator, and private balcony overlooking the ocean.

Japanese-style futons in Japanese Style tatami room

The Japanese-style mattresses and futons are usually kept in the closet. It was prepared by the hotel personnel when we were out for dinner. So lovely.

Plus, the ensuite shower facility in the room is greatly appreciated. It is unlike some other onsen accommodations which only provide shared bathing or showering facilities.

We booked this room at a discounted rate during the promotion period through Agoda. It was truly a great deal. You can compare the price from Agoda.com and Booking.com.

Hot Spring Bath (Onsen)

Enjoy Cave Onsen Bath in Hotel Urashima

The best thing about staying in Hotel Urashima is the hot spring bath (onsen). There are several hot spring baths scattered throughout the facility including the 2 cave onsen. Hotel Urashima proudly features its famous Bokido, a natural hot spring bath in a cave overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The cave onsens in Hotel Urashima are separate by gender and will swap at the alternate day. So you can soak in the onsen with a different view during your overnight say.

Bokido Cave Onsen at Hotel Urashima

We were amazed by the natural hot springs built inside caves. It was the best onsen I ever had. It was very cool to have a view of the pacific ocean while soaking inside the onsen. Do check in early to enjoy the fantastic ocean view from the onsens before it gets dark.

Enjoy Bokido Cave Onsen Hotel Urashima

The only bad thing is many people are enjoying the onsen too. But still, with the large size of this hotel, there is always a quiet spot or hot spring bath to escape to for people that what to relax. We managed to have private time on the cave onsen during the early morning section.

Noroshiyama Yuen

The long escalator in Hotel Urashima

The hotel is a huge resort with a long escalator connecting the buildings up to the hill, what an engineering feat! Visitors could go up to 32 floors (top of the hills) for an awesome panoramic view of the whole area and enjoy the sunset. The staff was also extremely friendly, which also added to our positive experience.

Noroshiyama Yuen

In the mid-way, you can also visit the Noroshiyama Yuen with the small shrine and torii gate in the hotel building. We have a quick visit inside the park but wish to spend more time. You might plan to visit it as it also featured the 360 panoramic view platform on the Pacific Ocean.

Opening time of Noroshiyama Yuen

The opening time of Noroshiyama Yuen is from 5:00 until 17:00. The entrance will be closed to ensure the safety of the visitors.

What To Eat When Staying in Hotel Urashima

Dining room in Hotel Urashima

Our stay in Hotel Urashima is half-board, including breakfast and dinner. Depending on where is the building you stayed, you will know where you know your dining location with meal time chosen during check-in.

What To Eat in Hotel Urashima

The buffet meals are extensive and offered a good number of food selections. Sometimes the venue is included with entertaining Tuna filleting shows. You can find, sushi, sashimi, grilled beef, seafood, Wakayama ramen, salad bar, Japanese pickle, miso soup, drinks, and many more. The best time to taste a big variety of Japanese foods.

Buffet in Hotel Urashima

Frankly saying, we didn’t find many that we liked. Plus, with the number of guests, the buffet venue can be very crowded. But still, we have a happy tummy for dinner and breakfast.

Buffet time in Hotel Urashima

There are a few restaurants serving izakaya food and ramen which will be operated after meal hours at the main lobby. But not many food options and variety. Alternatively, there are also many vending machines and Lawson convenient stores where you can get some food, drinks, snacks, and even souvenirs!

Restaurants in Hotel Urashima

Pro Tips: Hotel Urashima only have a buffet option and vegetarian options on the buffet can be limited. You can also select the room-only plan if the meal option is not suitable. There is also a kaiseki meal option if you are staying in Sanjokan at a higher rate.

Overview: Staying in Hotel Urashima

My Stay in Hotel Urashima Review

In short, our conclusion on the Hotel Urashima review: Great value for money!

The only bad thing about staying in Hotel Urashima is not enough time! I only stayed one night in Hotel Urashima and it is a bit rushed for me to enjoy all the facilities within 1 night. You will need to take time to walk from one site to another site when touring the premise. Plus, the building is also slightly dated and it can be also crowded with people on local and foreign tours.

But still, with the affordable price offered, we would highly recommend staying in Hotel Urashima. We truly enjoy the onsen bath and serene views from the room. We would stay 2 nights if your itinerary is allowed to truly enjoy the facilities. In short, we can highly recommend this hotel.

If you’d like to make a reservation at Hotel Urashima, then you can do so through Agoda. There are many room options for your selection so be sure to go through the room listing to find one that best suits you. Alternatively, you can look for the price listed on Booking.com as well.

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