Reviewed by Mary Rudow

Presidential service at Shimoda’s highest profile hotel

Nestled among lush green foliage and century old willows and bamboos in Rendaiji, Shmoda is the traditional Japanese hotel, Seiryuso, a Relais and Château “5C”, which over the years has received many VIPs including the former US president Jimmy Carter, who stayed here during his visit to Japan in 1979.

Here, your every wish is catered to with the utmost care. All the rooms are traditionally Japanese in style with en suite bathrooms, each with a veranda that overlooks either a beautiful private garden or the breathtaking lush green forest by the river.

The deluxe rooms each have their own rotenburo outdoor hot springs baths that afford you the utmost privacy and relaxation. A set of specially designed traditional Japanese yukata (male & female) is prepared in each room for guests to change into as soon as they arrive in their rooms for comfort (Like all the guests in the ryokan, I wore mine to meals and around the ryokan!).

One of the special features of the hotel, is the Olympic size swimming pool, which is heated all year round by natural hot spring water—unlike some onsens, the temperature is not too hot—warm enough to comfortably swim in which is excellent especially in the evenings.

The Garden Spa and the thermarium Finnish spa are housed in a traditional Roman bath style building with a steam room, a “wood heated sauna-treatments with natural oils and body rubs with rhassoul clay”.   Exquisite dinners and breakfasts are provided for and prepared by an in-house chef. All in all, Seiryuso is the crème de la crème of ryokans in Shimoda, high-end and luxurious. The experience of a lifetime.


Seiryuso Hotel


Olympic Swimming Pool, Restaurant, Bar, Gardens, Spa, Sauna, Steam room

Price: ¥23,000 – ¥83,000 per night (with two meals)

Address: 2-2 Kawauchi, Shimoda-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture, 415-0011

Tel: 0558-22-1361



See Tokyo Weekender’s Special on Shimoda here.