My wife and I had a magical time visiting this Ryokan in Yudanaka in the Nagano Prefecture on the way to see the snow monkeys. They know how to do hospitality right.
Traveling in a country with a foreign language can be confusing but they took care of all the logistics from when we arrived at the train station in Yudanaka to when they dropped us off the next day. They transfered us to the hotel and then to the Snow monkey park the next day and then directly to the train station afterwards.
The hospitality service at the ryokean itself was great. The staff is very friendly, accomadating and conversant in English. Their ability to anticipate and solve your needs is on par with the best luxury hotels in the US.
The rooms are great. Not huge, but that's the traditional style. They have all the stuff that I've been lead to believe is standard at traditional Ryokans like the robes (yukatas), tatami mats, tea, etc. There was a cartoon booklet detailing the proper ettiquette for ryokens, onsens and kai seki restaurants.
The hotel's view is awesome. It's of the Nagano valley. We didn't have a view from our room, but we rented one of the private Onsens on the roof of the hotel which, was also pretty magical and had an insane view. Probably the hottest water I've ever been in.
As is traditional at Ryokans dinner and breakfast were part of the deal. They serve the full kai seki, which if you haven't experienced, is definitely a must-do. This Ryokan is the only place I've had kai seki cuisine, so I don't have any thing to compare against, but I will say that it was everything I expected and more. If you're adverse to trying new foods beware as there aren't really any western options.
In sum, it's a great Ryokan and I highly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Traditional Japanese Experience including Tatami Rooms & Magical Ryokan Dinner & Breakfast. A limited number of rooms have Westerner Orientated Beds. You'll feel the pride of Yudanaka's Mineral Springs in our 100% Natural Overflowing-Non-recycled HotSprings. Our staff will show a Ryokan tradition in an international atmosphere. Book the private 9th floor rooftop HotSpring Tub for your Floating Sake dream. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ryokan Biyunoyado Hotel Yamanouchi-Machi
- Ryokan Biyunoyado Japan/Nagano Prefecture - Yamanouchi-Machi