The town of Hakone has been a destination for travelers ever since its beginnings as a way station for weary travelers on the Tokaido Road between Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo) during the Heian Period, a thousand years ago.
Being a resort town just a quick hop from Tokyo, Hakone sees lots of visitors all year round, but gets especially popul ar during the busiest seasons, spring (April) and winter (February), when the snow paints a picture of wintry serenity.
In a prime position overlooking the town and Lake Ashi, the ryokan Yoshimatsu has been serving honored guests since 1989. The Yagishita family, including the proprietor Mr Yagishita and the energetic Mrs Yagishita, are committed to following the traditional ryokan lifestyle, in terms of architecture, cuisine, surroundings and of course omotenashi, the friendly, exemplary service that is at the heart of the ryokan experience. They want their guests to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle at Yoshimatsu - staying there is like being transported back to a simpler, quieter time.
On the main gate is an image of Okame, the goddess who watches over carpenters. Mr. Yagishita's grandfather was a master carpenter who specialized in traditional Japanese buildings, and Yoshimatsu is exclusively permitted to use the Okame image as a trademark of the ryokan.
On clear days, especially in winter (December to the end of march), rooms on the ryokan's top floor boast lovely views of Mount Fuji rising up over the calm waters of Lake Ashi.