A Visit to the Kitoki Inn

I celebrated my birthday in late July with a short getaway  to Bowen Island with my partner, Boris. Thanks to our past selves, who in January brilliantly thought ahead to July, and booked us two nights at the Kitoki Inn. At the time, they were anticipating a summer opening, and we really had no idea what to expect because there were no photos of the accommodations.

The tiny but well-curated shop on the property. It has a selection of snacks, and other lovely Japanese goods.

We visit Bowen often (because Boris’ parent live there) but this is such a special spot. A Japanese Onsen tucked away at the top of a hill, surrounded by a tall forest of trees and ferns. There are three private one-room cabins on the property, each with their own small kitchen and bathroom, and a deck to sit outside. The buildings are purposely designed for maximum privacy, with windows positioned either low or high in the wall to let in light but not give a view of the cabin next door.


The bathhouse is available for guests to book twice a day for 90 minutes each, and we took full advantage of that. One day we took the earliest booking at 6:30am to start the day, and then an after dinner bathhouse visit to end it. Relaxing in the bathhouse while staring at the forest and listening to the gentle sound of the water feature was just perfect. It was a good spot to watch birds as well. It’s a traditional bathhouse where you clean yourself before you get into the hot bath, then soak yourself for 10-15 minutes, cool off with a cold shower, and then sit for 10 to 15 minutes before getting in again. You repeat the cycle as many times as you want in the 90 minutes.

The Kitoki Inn managed to feel both quiet and remote, even though we were’t far from a busy road. I actually felt like we were in Japan while on the property, and then we would walk down the hill to find ourselves on Bowen.

I’m very grateful for this special experience on my birthday, and hope we can visit the Inn again someday.

(The Kitoki Inn blew up in a big way on Social Media around the time they opened, and are currently booked well into 2022. Keep that in mind if you’re interested in visiting it yourself.)