For hundreds of years Hakone has been a resort destination for Japanese people in search of total and complete relaxation.
In the late 19th century, the Hakone Gora area was primarily developed as a summer resort areas for upper-class families in Japan. In 1911 Odakyu Railway Company (ORC) undertook a project to develop 122 ha of land and built villas for celebrities and the aristocracy. ORC also created the 2.2 ha Gora Park which is located at the center of the area. The Park is well known for its beautiful rose flower garden and its French rock garden.
The property known today as Gora-Kansuiro was inaugurated in 1914 at the ORC developed area as a private country house owned by baron Yasuya Iwasaki, the third son of Yataro Iwasaki, the man who founded the Mitsubishi "Zaibatsu”, a large Japanese industrial conglomerate. The baron created a Japanese garden named "Kaseien” which extends over an area of 3.3 ha. The "Kaseien” garden has an abundance of plants, century-old trees and rocks overgrown in moss placed along the steep hill.
Next to the same garden, Prince Kan’in Kotohito, member of one of the Japanese imperial families, built his summer villa in 1916.
Due to the birth of this sumptuous property linked to the hot springs by a funicular railway, Gora became the favorite spa-thermal resort of the Japanese high society.
After the end of WWII the Zaibatsu was forced to be dissolved and the Gora-Kansuiro area was re-opened as a public hotel in 1949 by Mr. Niroku Suzuki, a local entrepreneur.
The Gora-Kansuiro became well known after the Showa Emperor and Empress stayed at the room named "Kinkatei Hashuan” in Autumn 1955. The Emperor and Empress really enjoyed the wide variety of dishes and the spectacular view of the massive bonfires of Daimonji, which literally means ‘great (big) character’, burned at night on the mountain sides surrounding Hakone. It was the first time that Japanese Royals stayed at a public hotel. Today the very same room is available to all guests.
3 minutes walk from Gora Station, Hakone Tozan Railway. 20 minutes by taxi from Hakone- Yumoto Station. 40 minutes by taxi from Odawara Station.