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“Magical visit”
Review of Ryokan Biyunoyado

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Ryokan Biyunoyado
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 December 2017

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.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Alex R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 December 2017

It was the snow monkeys that brought us to this part of Japan, then we picked the town and hotel backwards from that, and we (us from the UK, and our friends from Australia) were mighty pleased with our choices, as it gave us a fantastically immersive 24 hours in an older and more traditional way of life than in the big cities.

We arrived from Tokyo by train around midday, and had a very warm welcome with drinks. We were too early to check in, so took up the offer of an immediate transfer to the monkey park gates, where we had a great light lunch in the cafe there. Then a half hour or so walk to the monkey park, which is absolutely great, but you only need an hour or so there. Our pick-up from the hotel was at 16:00, and they dropped us off at a sake museum/shop on the edge of the town, Shibu Onsen. It was approaching dusk, when we left, and we had a delightful walk through the main street with it's several quaint shops and public onsen baths.

We however had each booked the two private onsens on the hotel roof (Y1,800 per couple for 40 minutes). It was fantastic sitting in these hot tubs on a cold night overlooking the twinkling lights of the town, and the odd star peeking through, but then it was a very fast turnaround to don our yakutas and be at dinner for 19:00, where we'd pre-booked the traditional kaiseki multi-course dinner, including one vegetarian, as one photo shows. Our hostess explained the dishes, and the protocols. The local sake brewery also do craft beers, so we had one of those each, then wine, and the whole thing was just fantastic.

Even better was the traditional breakfast. Whilst we had some idea of what we might be getting for dinner, we had none for breakfast...and as the other picture shows, it was spectacular, and made the people's Western choice breakfast on the next table look very paltry and ordinary.

The rooms are of course traditional tatami mats with roll up mattresses and duvets and whilst they might be ever so slightly dated, it really didn't matter one iota, and certainly don't be put off by the gaudy colour of the hotel, which commands a great hillside location plus views.The staff at all points of contact were just great, and we were taken by the hotel's courtesy minibus for our 8:30-ish onward train journey to Kyoto.

We put our own trip together, and the Lonely Planet kind of makes it seem like a bit of a slog to get out here, but whilst some train travel time is of course required, the reward to effort ratio fully justifies it, and this hotel is a well priced and very comfortable and welcoming place from which to experience all of the above.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank BazLoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2017

I felt so at home with the warm hospitality of owners Yuki and Masao. My room was incredible. Nicely designed and with an onsen overlooking the mountains on my private patio. The food was delicious and the introduction to traditional culture had the right touch--it's there for you to explore, but not in an overbearing way.

The region is quite beautiful. I loved seeing all the snow monkeys nearby, exploring the shrines around town, and the availability of hiking, skiing, etc.

Room Tip: Request the room with private onsen
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  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank 2017JLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017

Good food and good service do not make up for shocking rooms that do not look like they have had a penny spent on them in 20 years.
Poor hot bath- very tired compared with similar establishments in Japan
Good location

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank J7834ARjoeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2017 via mobile

We have just stayed here for 2 nights and had the most amazing time. From the moment you step off the train the people are so helpful. We were asked if they could ring the hotel for them to collect us.
On arrival at the hotel itself checking was easy and we were shown to our room. The room was Japanese style and offered comfort and a chance to have an authentic experience. We chose to have the Japanese dining and it was beautifully presented. We had fantastic food throughout the stay. We wore the yukata provided by the hotel as did everyone else and this was so comfortable.
You must try the Onsen if you stay. Hot spring bathing inside and outside. It is so relaxing and there is nothing better than sitting outside staring at mountains whilst bathing in hot spring water. The sides change so you can experience both onsen. Toiletries are provided.
The hotel provides free transfers to the monkey park which is a must do.
The thing that really sets the hotel apart though is the wonderful staff. The wonderful lady who was looking after the onsen, the fantastic lady who guided us through our meals and all other staff were absolutely great. Go here and you will have a stunning time.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Helen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ryokan Biyunoyado

Address: 2951-1 Hirao | (Yudanaka Onsen), Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0401, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Shimotakai-gun > Yamanouchi-machi > Yudanaka shibu Onsen
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
Price Range: $263 - $631 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ryokan Biyunoyado 3.5*
Number of rooms: 46
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

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