From the moment I laid eyes upon a picture of Lamp No Yado ランプの宿, a picture of a beautiful Japanese ryokan situated right by the Sea of Japan, it infiltrated my holiday dreams. The obscurity of its location made it a tad to get to but when I finally got to make this trip a reality, the sight of its lacquered Japanese roofs against the white waves crashing into clear blue waters did not disappoint. This definitely earned its spot on Japan’s top 10 hidden ryokans.
I had to take my quintessential Lamp No Yado picture and let its other worldliness speak for itself.
The ryokan is isolated at the tip of this peninsula, a 10-15 mins walk down the road/carpark area, sitting pretty by the sea. There is not much around it but a gift shop and a viewing gallery, before the road that leads down to the ryokan.
Lamp no Yado is boutique sized and there are a limited number of rooms available, 3 different types :
5 Standard rooms, situated in the middle of the ryokan grounds. From the picture below, one can see that these rooms are a little bit further away from the sea.
4 Roten rooms with open air baths, located at the extreme left end of the ryokan with balconies that face the sea.
4 Special rooms, that are villas with open air baths, sitting right in front of the swimming pool.
A different view of Lamp no Yado
Since I came to Noto specifically for Lamp no Yado, we spent 2 nights there. I wanted the Roten room, but they were all booked up on my first night so I got the standard room. It was comfortable, nothing special except the sound of the waves from your room. After the customary welcome tea, snack and introduction to the ryokan by the Okami-san, I decided to check out the shared onsen before the crowd came in (we got an early check in because our flight arrived in the morning).
There are segregated baths for men and women here. The women’s bath was a cave onsen, and the view was spectacular. I gush a lot about ryokans and onsens in Japan, but THIS, this is pretty special. I have never been so relaxed and mesmerized, watching the waves fold into the rocky shores from the warmth of my bath.
The cave onsen
We worked by the pool, next to the sea before we got our Roten rooms. Being this close to the sea was intensely healing. The constantly colliding waves and changing tides made me feel so very alive.
Writing by the Sea of Japan
Their private, Kashikiri bath is even better – especially at night, when all is dark, and the tide is high, crashing in hard and loudly, violently almost, against the rocks and in close proximity to the private bath that guests can book a free, 50 mins slot for.
The illumination from inside your bath, and the orange glow out at sea, allowing you to watch the waves creates a mystical atmosphere. I have always loved being near the sea, and this particular experience was mindblowing.
The Roten rooms were available on my 2nd night and I got the exact room I had been eyeing. (It was specifically, the room right at the extreme end of the ryokan grounds with a round, cedar wood private bath facing the sea.)
The space was luxurious for a price of about 30,000yen per person with breakfast and dinner included. Service was gentle and perfect.
Roten room with private bath
I spent the afternoon writing on the balcony, and soaking in the private bath, barely leaving the lovely room and its view.
And woke up to this wonderful sunrise. <3<3
I slept like a baby both nights, the rhythm of the sea in my ear. Their tatami, futons and covers were very clean and of good quality. One night we dinner in the communal dining room, with a wonderful view. The other night, we ordered special dishes for the meal and had dinner in a private room upstairs.
I have always thought most Ryokans over-feed you with too many courses of food, and not necessarily all of the best quality. So you end up with a huge Kaiseiki dinner, but with certain courses skipped. Lamp no Yado seemed to have served a smaller, simpler number of courses but little went to waste. In short, the food was pretty good for ryokan standard.
Dinner at sunset, in the communal dinning room.
Dinner in the private room.
An added dish of Wajima beef.
Simple Japanese Breakfast
When it was finally time to leave… I lingered by the sea, taking it all in, trying hard to remember the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves, the wind on my skin, the sights and how all these felt together.
Then I didnt quite want to leave.
Lamp no Yado. This ryokan supposedly started in 1790 got its name because of it did not have electricity and used to only use gas lamps. These lamps continue to be a theme in this traditional, luxury ryokan.
Where to find it :
10-11 JIKE MISAKI-MACHI SUZU-CITY ISHIKAWA JAPAN 927-1451
Yoshigaura Onsen Lamp no Yado
Japan Best Onsen Sanctuary Resort Hotel Lamp no Yado
We took a flight from Tokyo to Noto airport, then took a taxi over to Lamp no Yado.
They recommend driving, since Lamp no Yado is located outside the town of Suzu, at Yoshigaura Onsen (like nothing else is there?) at the tip of the Noto Peninsula.
Public access to Lamp no Yado I have read is possible, but complicated (I actually gave up) as it is so secluded. This was part of the reason it took me awhile to make this trip. It cost a pretty penny, but this is definitely my favorite sanctuary in all of Japan. Now to figure how, if ever, to return.
Access to Noto Peninsula can be found here:
Lastly, a short clip of one of my fave memories :