This magnificent and graceful hotel, originally a “herring estate”,
is one of the Designated Historic Landmarks of Otaru City.
It was an estate built by a great master of fishermen in Yoichi
who became very rich in the Sengoku herring fishing ground that prospered at the base of the Shakotan Peninsula.
The estate was relocated to its current location in 1938.
Having endured the weather for more than a century, it looks truly magnificent and graceful.
GINRINSOU in the 360° VR video
Herring that abounded in the sea brought so much prosperity to areas on the west coast of Hokkaido from the Edo period to the early Showa period that there was a saying that spring in Hokkaido came with herring. Great masters of fishermen who fought the rough waves in the northern sea built a magnificent estate as if to show their glory. In 1873, at the height of the herring fishing, Mr. Yasunojo Inomata, a magnate of fishermen in Yoichi, built a personal residence, which was the beginning of GINRINSOU.
For about 150 years since then, GINRINSOU has retained its splendid appearance and reminded us of the glorious history of the sea of Hokkaido, as one of the few existing herring estates, and as a very rare herring estate where you can stay.
The curved eaves of GINRINSOU are very impressive. The estate was constructed by Senzo Yoneyama, a Miyadaiku (specialist in construction of shrines and temples) invited by the Inomata family from his hometown Echigo (former name of current Niigata Prefecture area). It has many beautiful aspects created by the temple architect’s elaborate skills. Selected high-grade types of wood such as Sakhalin fir, castor aralia, ash and chestnut were used as building materials, and the panel forming the lower part of the interior wall was made of large pieces of granite, which were ordered from abroad in the days when transport means were not yet developed. You can see the high spirit of the magnate of fishermen who sought gorgeousness to whatever extent possible even for inconspicuous parts. You will be impressed with the design of stained glass and many elaborate transoms, which will make you imagine Otaru in the Meiji and Taisho periods.
As a hotel nicknamed “the State Guesthouse in Hokkaido”, we are putting our heart and soul into making each of our guests have an extraordinary experience and, at the same time, feel relaxed as if they came to their own villa. This is the hospitality of GINRINSOU. Yukata, sheeting and pillows are carefully selected to make our guests feel as comfortable as possible. The temperature of hot water in the private bath is kept constant at all times of the day, regardless of the season. Well-maintained, clean guest rooms and high-quality meals are the least we can provide to our precious guests. We are trying to offer far more than that every day.